Step-Parent Adoption

A step-parent adoption occurs when a biological parent marries and the step-parent then chooses to adopt the child or children.

What to Expect

Step-parent adoptions can occur by agreement where the other biological parent voluntarily gives up his/her rights to the child which yields to a much smoother process. If not, however, there are certain grounds that must be met for termination of parental rights of the estranged biological parent.

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In order for someone to adopt a child, there must be a transfer of parental rights. So whether by agreement or by the Court ordering the rights be terminated, this step must occur in order for an adoption to be final.

Though a child doesn’t generally have to agree, consent is required for a child who is 14-years-of-age or older.

A step-parent who adopted is treated by law as if he/she was the biological parent, so the step-parent would then be able to seek custody, visitation, and would be under the obligations of child support just as a birth parent would.