American families look quite different today than they did just a few short decades ago. In fact, recent studies have determined that approximately half of all families are blended, meaning there may be step-parents, step- or half-siblings, or any combination of the three. Some of these blended families co-parent with the biological parent (and perhaps the biological parent’s partner), but others find that a stepparent adoption is more appropriate for their situation. Learn more about the process, including how to determine if this may be an option for your family, and discover what an experienced attorney can do to help in the following sections.
Is Stepparent Adoption a Viable Option for Your Family?
Illinois state law does not allow a child to have three legal parents, so stepparent adoption may not be appropriate in every situation. Typically, they are reserved for situations in which one of the biological parents is deemed unfit or unsafe, but a stepparent adoption can also be pursued if the biological parent is uninterested in maintaining a relationship with the child. In the latter situation, parents and adopting step-parents must understand that consent—usually from the biological parent that would be relinquishing or losing their rights, but also sometimes the child, depending on the circumstances—is a critical element in stepparent adoption cases.