Anoka Stepparent Adoption Attorney
Bringing New Families Together – Officially
The adoption of a child by a stepparent is a common form of adoption that helps bring families together. However, stepparent adoption processes need to be considered carefully. The parent who is being asked to terminate parental rights may experience stress and feelings of regret, so they might create complications or challenge the adoption altogether.
Bolt Law Firm and our Anoka stepparent adoption lawyers would be happy to help you understand and utilize the adoption process in any regard. Whether you are a stepparent who wants to adopt your stepchild or the other way around, we have the legal experience required to make sense of the situation. Because we have a large focus on family law cases, we know how to approach these sensitive situations tactfully and respectfully.
Let’s talk about the next steps. Call (763) 292-2102 now.
Reasons Stepparents Adopt
Blended families are more common today than ever before. If you are raising a stepchild and the other biological parent is not in the picture, you may want to consider adoption to unify your family even further. While it is not necessary for a stepparent to adopt, it may just be the right choice for your family.
Some of the questions and concerns you probably have about stepparent adoption might be:
- Does the other biological parent need to be contacted?
- Does the child have to consent to the adoption?
- How does adoption affect inheritance?
It is worth noting that an adopted stepchild receives the same inheritance and other legal rights as do biological children in the family. This includes medical insurance coverage rights, as well. In effect, your adopted child becomes your child in all respects.
Stepparent Adoption Process
For a stepparent to adopt a child in Minnesota, the child must be available for adoption. This means that the noncustodial biological parent either consents to the adoption and voluntarily terminates parental rights, or the parental rights are terminated by a court order.
An outline of the stepparent process includes such steps as the following:
- Termination of the biological parent's parental rights.
- Petition for adoption to the court.
- Involvement by Social Services.
- A final hearing.
- Adoption decree signed and entered.
Getting the consent of the biological parent can be challenging. Their whereabouts may be unknown, or they may refuse to consent. In either case, the stepparent can petition the court to have the noncustodial parent’s parental rights be terminated under certain circumstances.
Social Services Considerations
When you file for stepparent adoption, social services will get involved, just as they do for any adoption. Specifically, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will investigate your background and living situation, which can include check-ins of your home and a study of your criminal history. If the DHS does not approve of you becoming an official parent of your adopted stepchild, then it can block the adoption.
Other Legal Considerations
- A child 14 years old or older must also consent to the adoption. Once that is done and the termination by the noncustodial parent is accomplished, the stepparent can petition the court for adoption.
- Children who are members of an American Indian tribe or are eligible for tribal membership are covered by a different set of rules regarding termination.
- After the stepparent petitions the court for adoption, the court may order an evaluation of the home and living conditions as well as background checks.
Begin the Stepparent Adoption Process Today
Many factors are taken into consideration during the stepparent adoption process in Minnesota. Trust the experienced Anoka stepparent adoption attorneys of Bolt Law Firm to guide you through the process.