Adoption By A Stepparent
Minneapolis, MN family law attorney Laura Sahr Schmit talks about various logistics when a stepparent wants to adopt a child.
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Well, a stepparent adoption is similar to a second parent adoption. So, that’s what you’ll see in a gay couple or a heterosexual couple who aren’t married – is a second parent adoption. But, basically, anyone who’s gonna adopt a child has to go through what’s called the Adam Walsh Background Check. And as a stepparent or a second parent, you don’t have to go through the home study or adoption study – that if you were just doing a direct placement adoption, you would have to do. But you do have to have a background check.
And if you’re the stepparent, and you have children over the age of 13 that you’re brining into this family, those children also have to have an Adam Walsh Background Check. And once everybody’s past the Adam Walsh Background Check, then it’s simply a matter of going through the filling out the documents and going through the legal process to get the adoption finalized.
The other aspect, though, is you always have to have the child available. Meaning, a child has their parents, and a child is not available unless the parent has consented to an adoption or terminated their parental rights. And if you have a situation – A mom, and dad, and stepdad, wants to adopt this child, bio-dad – or the ex-husband – needs to consent to the adoption. And then it can go through. And he loses all of his parental rights, child support obligation – all that – and the stepfather assumes all those rights.