Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



Can a Stepparent Adopt a Stepchild in Illinois?

 Posted on June 12, 2023 in Family Law

Oak Park Divorce LawyerIn today's modern world, blended families are more common than ever, and many stepparents have taken a key role in their stepchildren's lives. However, a stepparent does not have the same legal rights in relation to a stepchild that a biological parent does. In Illinois, though, there is a legal process of adoption by which a stepparent may gain those rights.

Stepparent Adoption Process in Illinois

Many stepparents love their stepchildren as if the child is their own, and they want to adopt the child to become the child's official, legal parent.

The criteria for obtaining legal stepparent adoption in Illinois include:

  • The stepparent is legally married to the child's biological parent;

  • The child consents to the adoption, if the child is at least 14 years old; and,

  • The other biological parent is either deceased, consents to the adoption, or has had their parental rights terminated.

Termination of Parental Rights in an Adoption Case

The law only allows a child to have two parents. If the child's other biological parent is alive, then the court must terminate that parent's rights before the stepparent can adopt the child. This is a somewhat complex legal process which involves multiple steps. The other biological parent may voluntarily consent to have their parental rights terminated, or they may object to the adoption and refuse to do so.

Illinois courts only terminate a parent's parental rights against their will in extreme cases. The court must find that the biological parent has abandoned or neglected the child, or is unfit to provide for the child’s needs. If a court determines that it is in the best interest of the child for one of their parent's rights to be terminated, then it will grant the adoption petition and allow a stepparent to adopt a stepchild.

Once the adoption is complete, the stepparent will have the full legal rights and responsibilities of a parent to their adopted child. This includes making medical decisions for the child, providing financial support, and being responsible for the child's well-being. In addition, the stepchild also can gain access to certain benefits, like inheritance from the stepparent and access to health insurance.

Contact our Oak Park Stepparent Adoption Lawyer

Legal adoption is a process that can be somewhat complex and emotionally charged. If you are considering adopting your stepchild in Illinois, it is important to understand each step of the process, and to seek legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. Hillside family law attorney Vincent C. Machroli can provide the top-quality legal assistance and representation you need.

Call the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. today at 708-449-7404 for a free consultation.



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