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Step-parent Adoption
Step-parent adoption

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.

1. Consent.

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

For legal representation for a Minnesota adoption call 612.240.8005 or ASK-A-LAWYER Online

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