Individuals in stable, committed relationships with single parents often want to adopt their partner’s child. Being married to your partner before you petition for adoption will make the adoption process much easier and simpler.
Both your partner and the noncustodial parent will have to consent to the adoption, unless the noncustodial parent has failed to provide more than de minimis contact or failed to provide for the child as court ordered for more than a year before the adoption petition is filed. Adoption terminates the legal ties of the birth parent in favor of the stepparent. After the adoption is finalized, the birth parent no longer needs to make child support payments. Although, if the child support obligor is behind on payments, they will still need to pay until they are up to date on child support.
Adoption is a significant commitment and creates binding legal ties between the stepparent and the adoptive child. The adoptive child will have the same inheritance rights as a natural child. If the stepparent divorces the child’s biological parent, then the stepparent will have the right to pursue custody and child support, if applicable, just as a biological parent would.
Interested in adopting your spouse’s child? Unsure of how to begin? Contact Attorney Zachary Smith.