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Examining the Basics of a Stepparent Adoption

Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County stepparent adoption lawyersAmerican 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.

Why Consent in a Stepparent Adoption Matters

Although a stepparent adoption can proceed, even if the biological parent refuses to give consent, it is their willingness to relinquish rights that typically determines the complexity of a stepparent adoption case. When the biological parent gives consent and signs to have their parental rights terminated, the adoption can typically proceed with few or even no complications. These cases also tend to reach completion sooner than ones in which the biological parent contests the adoption. They also have a far better chance of ending favorably for the adopting stepparent since, in a contested adoption, the biological parent must be deemed either absent or unfit. For this reason, stepparents are encouraged to contact an experienced attorney, right from the start.

Contact Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys

Most of the time, stepparent adoptions are in the best interests of a child, and at Davi Law Group, LLC, that is what we strive to protect. Do not feel as though you must face the uncertainty and complexities of a stepparent adoption alone. Instead, contact our DuPage County family law attorneys and schedule a personalized consultation. Call 630-580-6373 today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2098&ChapterID=59

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