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My New Spouse Wants to Adopt My Children

Posted on in Adoption

stepparent adoption, Illinois law, Arlington Heights Family LawyerIn today’s world, blended families are becoming increasingly common. For some, it may be the result of a remarriage, while others are waiting longer to get married for the first time. Whatever the case, a marriage involving children from previous relationships can be both extremely challenging and very rewarding. What happens, however, when your new spouse expresses interest in pursuing the adoption of your child?

Why Adoption?

When you chose to marry your new spouse, you probably gave a great deal of thought to his suitability as a stepparent. Like most parents, you probably consider your child’s happiness and best interests in virtually every decision you make. Hopefully, the transition to a new parental situation has been a positive one for your child and his or her relationship with your spouse is becoming stronger every day. A stepparent bond does not require adoption to be effective; it is based on human interaction, trust, and mutual love.

There may be situations, however, in which the stepparent role is not enough. You and your spouse may be the only two parents your child knows, and you may want your spouse to have full legal authority regarding your child. This would permit your spouse to sign permission slips for school, make medical decisions, and to generally assume responsibility for your child has his own.

The Other Parent

While it is extremely unlikely that your spouse would file for adoption of your child without your consent, the law requires the consent of both parents. Thus, to proceed with the adoption, your child’s other natural parent must grant his consent as well. This can sometimes be difficult, as some paternity situations are very complex. The basics are rather simple: an objection to the adoption can be raised by your child’s father if his paternity was previously established under the law. If paternity was never established, he may have registered with the state’s Putative Father Registry in an effort to preserve his rights. If neither has been done, he will not likely have standing to block the adoption.

If the father does have standing and will not consent, the adoption proceeding will likely be terminated. The court may override his dissent but only if he is found to be unfit, which may be difficult to prove. By granting his consent, however, the natural or putative father legally forfeits his parental rights and obligations. This means that he no longer has legal rights to visitation, but is also no longer required to pay child support.

Legal Counsel for Stepparent Adoptions

Compared to other types of adoption, most stepparent adoptions are relatively simpler and less complex but that does not mean they are easy. You are still likely to encounter legal concerns that are best addressed by an experienced Kane County adoption attorney. For more information on beginning the adoption process, contact A. Traub & Associates today. We look forward to helping you create a family situation that best serves the needs of everyone involved.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2098&ChapterID=59

http://madisonrecord.com/stories/510567135-stepparent-adoptions-governed-by-illinois-law

http://www.adoptingfamilyresources.com/adopting/adopting_step_parent.htm

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