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Important Considerations For Step-Parent Adoptions in Illinois

Posted on in Adoption

Naperville step-parent adoption lawyerThe most common form of adoption in Illinois is a related adoption, meaning the adoptive parent is related in some way to the child. Specifically, step-parent adoption is very common in the United States and in Illinois. Step-parent adoptions take place when either the child’s biological mother or father marries someone other than the child’s other biological parent and that person wants to assume legal rights and responsibility of the child. Often, step-parent adoptions take place because they allow for the formal declaration of a parent-child relationship between the step-parent and the child. In addition, the step-parent may pursue an adoption of the child because the child’s other biological parent is not involved in the child’s life.

Things You Should Know Before You Pursue Step-Parent Adoption

In certain ways, it can be a lot easier to adopt a child that is related to you than a child who is unrelated. Related adoptions go through a different process than unrelated adoptions, but related adoptions can still be difficult. 

Before you adopt a step-child, you should consider the following factors:

The state of Illinois only allows a child to have two legal parents. This means that the child’s biological parent must relinquish his or her parental rights if the child’s step-parent wants to adopt him or her.

The step-parent who is adopting the child is required to be married to the biological parent that the child resides with a majority of the time. For example, if the child’s mother is remarried, but the child lives with his or her father a majority of the time, an adoption by the mother’s new spouse will probably not be granted.

In unrelated adoptions, there is a requirement that a home study must be completed. In step-parent adoptions, there is no home study requirement.

Consent requirements can be complicated with step-parent adoptions. If the child is aged 14 or older, he or she must consent to the adoption. Additionally, consent does not have to be given by a parent if that parent denied paternity to the child, abandoned the child or is proven to be an unfit parent.

Consult With a DuPage County Step-Parent Adoption Lawyer

All adoptions can be long and tedious, but when it comes to step-parent adoptions, there are certain considerations that must be taken that you do not necessarily have to worry about in an unrelated adoption. The step-parent adoption process can become even more difficult and stressful if one of your child’s biological parents does not agree with the step-parent adoption. If you are thinking of adopting your step-child, you should contact an experienced Naperville step-parent adoption attorney today. 

At the Goostree Law Group, our skilled attorneys have nearly 20 years of experience dealing with all kinds of adoptions, including related adoptions. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/f_step.pdf

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

 

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