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Step-Parent Adoption in Illinois

Posted on in Adoption/Guardianships

Rolling Meadows step-child adoption attorneyOne of the most common forms of adoption in the United States is step-parent adoption. This type of adoption takes place when either the child’s biological mother or father is married to someone other than the child’s biological parent and that person wants to assume legal rights and responsibilities of the child. Step-parent adoption can be a step that some families take to solidify their relationships with one another, or to establish two parents for a child if one biological parent is not involved in the child’s life. 

Factors to Consider

It is important to understand that a related adoption is a little different from an unrelated adoption. In some ways, it can be easier to adopt a child that is related to you, but it can also have its challenges. Some factors to consider in step-parent adoptions include:

  • In Illinois, children can only have two legal parents, so if a step-parent wants to adopt their spouse’s child, the child’s other biological parent must relinquish their parental rights to the child.
  • Unlike in unrelated adoptions, there is no home study requirement that must be met in order to adopt a step-child.
  • The step-parent adopting the child must be married to the parent the child lives with. For example, if the child’s father has remarried, but the child lives with his or her mother the majority of the time, a step-parent adoption by the father’s new spouse will probably not be granted.
  • The noncustodial biological parent of the child must consent to the adoption, but consent can be bypassed in certain situations.
  • A child who is 14 years old or older has to consent to their adoption by a step-parent.
  • Consent does not have to be given from a parent if that parent has abandoned the child, denied paternity to the child, or is proven to be an unfit parent.

Get Help From a Barrington Adoption Lawyer

The adoption process can be long and tricky. There are many steps and a plethora of paperwork to go through when you want to adopt your step-child. The process becomes even more complicated if the biological parent of your step-child does not consent to the adoption. If you are looking to adopt your step-child, you should contact a skilled and experienced Schaumburg family law attorney to help guide you through the process. Anderson & Associates, P.C. can assist you in all of the areas of adoption. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 847-995-9999.

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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