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Tag Archives: stepparent adoption

DuPage County family law attorneysTerminating a parent’s rights to their child is not something that occurs regularly, but it is sometimes necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. How, exactly, does one go about doing this? Can it be applied in all situations, or are there only certain scenarios in which a parent’s rights can be terminated? The following answers these questions, and it provides important details on how an experienced family law attorney can assist you with the process, should it be warranted in your case.

Terminating a Parent’s Rights for Stepparent Adoption

Perhaps the best scenario in which a parent’s rights may be terminated is when there is a prospective adopting stepparent who wants to become the child’s legal guardian. Mostly, this is done with the consent of the biological parent. However, there are scenarios in which the family must go through the courts to prove that the biological parent is unfit, unsafe, or otherwise incapable of providing the love and support that the child deserves. In either scenario, the guidance and assistance of an experienced attorney is highly recommended. Note that grandparents, siblings, and other family members may adopt a child if both parents are willing to terminate their parental rights.

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DuPage County adoption lawyers, stepparent adoptionThrough a stepparent adoption, the natural child of one spouse becomes the legal child of the other spouse. Once a child is adopted, there are no legal differences between the natural children and children from another marriage. If you are considering adopting your stepchild, there are a few factors to consider to help your family through the process.

Consent is Key to Stepparent Adoption

A stepparent adoption is a form of related adoption. However, in this type of related adoption, the other parent must provide consent for the adoption. Sometimes, the other birth parent may agree that stepparent adoption is in the best interests of the child. In these cases, it may not be difficult to obtain consent. The adoption will be more complex if the child’s other biological parent does not provide consent.

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DuPage County family law attorney, extending your familyThe decision to adopt a child comes with many emotions—it is an exciting step for your family but it is also challenging. If you are looking to increase the size of your family through adoption, there may be issues that make the seemingly easy process very complicated. However, it is important to note, several avenues are available to you when making the decision to adopt a child.

Generally, when you adopt a child, you become the child’s legal parent and you will be given all parental rights and responsibilities as if the child was born to you. Likewise, the child will obtain all rights of a child, such as inheritance rights from both parents. In order for the adoption to be legal, the birth parents must consent to the adoption or the court must legally terminate the parental rights of the birth parents before the child can be legally adopted.

Different Avenues of Adoptions

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stepparent adoptionIf you have a child from a previous relationship, and you are now married to someone else, you might be considering having your spouse officially adopt your child. Such a step can bring stability and legal force to one of the most important relationships in your child’s life.

Under Illinois law, adoption by a stepparent is considered a “related adoption,” which can be completed in a much more straightforward manner than adoption by a non-related person (750 ILCS 50/2). Your spouse would not need to get a criminal background check, unlike for adoptions involving non-related parties. However, you would still need to have a guardian ad litem appointed. A guardian ad litem is a lawyer who represents your child and his or her best interests, and their role is to assess you and your spouse and recommend a course of action for a family law judge who is presiding over the adoption case.

If the natural parent of your child, your ex, consents to the adoption, the process is fairly straightforward. Illinois law favors families with two parents, so as long as there is another parent ready and willing to step into the role, the natural parent’s rights can be terminated. Your ex must give their consent freely before a judge. There are six different forms of consent, each one appropriate for different circumstances. For example, the consent form for the adoption of unborn children is different from the consent form for the adoption of children over age 14. It’s critical to use the correct consent form and have its signing witnessed by a judge.

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Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, 7th Floor,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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