Often, after marriage to a spouse with a child, a step-parent may wish to step into the role of parent. In order to be eligible to adopt as a step-parent, the individual must be over the age of eighteen and presently married to a consenting natural or adoptive parent. Additionally, both natural parents must consent or the a non-consenting parental rights must have been terminated.
There are two possible routes to a successful step-parent adoption.
Obviously, the easiest and least costly avenue to step-parent adoption is when the natural parents consent to the adoption. This often occurs when an absentee parent terminates his/her parental rights thus extinguishing his or her child support obligation.
Under the law, both the custodial and non-custodial biological parents sign forms consenting to adoption by the step-parent and waiving further notice of the proceedings. The petitioning step parent submits to the court a Petition of adoption along with a request for the Court to waive any home study. A Judge may waive or not waive the home study as part of their discretion.
2. Termination of Parental Rights.
A termination of parental rights is an action that terminates a biological parents rights to parent including any custodial and visitation rights and responsibilities.
There are two ways to terminate a parental rights, voluntarily and involuntarily. A voluntary termination is agreed upon by both parents whereas an involuntary termination may occur without either parent's consent.
As an alternative to a voluntary termination proceeding, the natural parent may consent to an adoption. A consent to adoption must comply with strict statutory requirements. After a decree of adoption is entered, the natural parents are relieved of all parental responsibilities including child support.
Click Here for more information on Terminating Parental Rights
Wisconsin Divorce Issues
Minnesota Divorce Issues
Divorce Bulletin Board
Ask a question or review postings on our Family Law Bulletin Board
A comprehensive listing of divorce and divorce related forms for all states
Divorce Book Store
Review Books on Winning Custody, Child Support, Property
Review links to Divorce and Family Law Resources including Men's and Women's Rights
Career Center: Find a job or post a job. Prepare a resume or have yours reviewed.
After divorce refinance your home, repair credit, acquire a credit report or apply for a credit card in our Financial Center. Click Here.
Find a Minnesota business or a Minnesota business professional including business appraisers, real estate appraisers, and mortgage brokers. Click Here.