The Basics of an Illinois Stepparent Adoption
Adoption is usually thought of as the process in which a single- or two-parent household brings a new child into their home, but not all adoptions happen this way. In fact, some adoptions involve a child that is already known and loved by the adopting parent.
One such example is the stepparent adoption.
In such cases, the stepparent is usually already a part of the family unit, and the biological parent in question may be out of the picture, no longer interested in being in the child’s life, or detrimental to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional development. Learn more about pursuing a stepparent adoption in Illinois, and discover how our seasoned family law attorneys can help to ease the process for your family.
What to Know Before Starting the Stepparent Adoption Process
While the stepparent adoption process in Illinois is fairly straightforward, there are some critical elements that must be present before the adoption can take place. First, Illinois state law usually requires that the stepparent is married to the child’s custodial parent (the parent with the most decision-making power and, usually, the most amount of parenting time). Second, the child cannot have three parents. As such, the biological parent must either voluntarily relinquish their parental rights, or they must be deemed as “unfit” by the courts and have their rights revoked. Statutory grounds that are necessary for deeming a biological parent unfit by the courts include:
- Child abandonment;
- Deserting the child during a three-month period before the adoption;
- Failing to show interest in the child’s well-being;
- Statutory neglect;
- Failing to show interest in the child within 30 days of its birth;
- Evidence of repeated physical, mental, or sexual abuse; and
- Failure to provide financial support for the child when capable of doing so.
In situations where the biological parent is deceased, termination of their parental rights is not required. Instead, families may proceed with the stepparent adoption as though they have the consent of the deceased parent.
Contact Our Wheaton Stepparent Adoption Lawyers Today
In many cases, stepparent adoption can be completed in just a few, short months. Yet, even in these ideal situations, the aid of a seasoned family law attorney is recommended to ensure that the process is completed correctly and that the potential for any issues along the way is effectively mitigated, right from the very start. Davi Law Group, LLC offers skilled, comprehensive adoption services for families of all styles, shapes, and sizes. Schedule your personalized consultation with our DuPage County stepparent adoption lawyers by calling 630-580-6373 today.