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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Is it Possible to Adopt My Stepchild in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

Oak Park IL family law attorneyIn today's world, there is no such thing as an "average" family. Years ago, the traditional mother, father, and baby set-up was the norm, but nowadays, things are much different. According to the 2018 American Community Survey conducted by the Census Bureau, more than 6 million people lived in a household with a child who is not biologically related to them, including in a stepfamily. One reason for this is that many people who get divorced end up getting remarried, which often creates blended families, bringing children from prior marriages together in one household.

One question that may go through any stepparent's mind is whether they can adopt their stepchild. While there is definitely a legal way to adopt a stepchild, it can be a somewhat complicated process. There are many details pertaining to the adoption process that you will have to understand and address before you are able to adopt your stepchild.

Determining Adoption Eligibility

Before you can adopt your stepchild, you must be sure that you actually qualify to adopt him or her. In Illinois, adopting a stepchild requires:

  • That the stepparent is legally married to the child's biological or adoptive parent

  • That the child consents to the adoption if the child is age 14 or older

  • That the child's other biological parent no longer has any parental rights

Is Your Stepchild's Other Parent Still in Their Life?

The biggest obstacle preventing many stepparent adoptions is the child's other biological parent. If they still have parental rights regarding the child, you will have to either ask them to relinquish those rights voluntarily or start a court case to terminate their rights. However, a judge will not terminate a parent's rights simply because you want to adopt your stepchild. Such termination of a parent’s rights only happens in cases that involve a parent who has habitually shown that they have little to no interest in being their child's parent, or who has put their child in danger.

Contact a Hillside, IL Stepparent Adoption Attorney

For many families, stepparents adopting their stepchildren is the right choice to make the family complete. However, in some situations, a stepparent adoption may not be appropriate or even possible. If you have been contemplating adopting your stepchild, you should contact the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. Our highly experienced Oak Park, IL stepparent adoption lawyer can advise you of all of your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 708-449-7404.

 

Sources:

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/f_step.pdf

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000500K1

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