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Stepchild Adoption Process

Adopting a stepchild can be confusing and bring on many questions. If you are thinking of adopting a stepchild and have questions about the stepchild adoption process read the top stepchild adoption questions answered by Experts.

How does a stepchild adoption work if the father's name on the original birth certificate in the state of Michigan? The biological father has never acknowledged the child and did not put his name on the certificate. He has had no contact or provided any support since birth.

If he is named as an alleged father then he will receive a notice once the termination petition is filed. After that a court date will be set and he either show up and contest or he won’t show at all. It can be relatively simple if he doesn't show or could be more like a contested divorce if he does show. The court decides whether you have proved the grounds for nonsupport or abandonment. The court will also determine what is best for the child.

How would one go about adopting a stepchild in Texas? Is an attorney needed?

If the biological parent agreed to the stepparent adoption, then no lawyer would be necessary unless the court did not have the paperwork to fill out and file with the court. The process would be for the biological parent to sign a waiver of their rights along with the consent to the stepparent adoption. From there the stepparent would file the petition for adoption with the court. Now if the biological parent does not agree to the adoption, then a lawyer would be necessary to petition the court to terminate the parental rights of the parent (based on applicable grounds) in order to involuntarily terminate the parent’s rights and free the child up for adoption. From there you would request adoption of the child through a private adoption. For more answers to stepchild adoption questions consult an Expert for fast reliable answers for the fraction of the cost of an in-person visit to a lawyer.

If someone was married and adopted a stepchild, then later finds out the marriage was not legal, would that make the adoption not legal and binding as well? Can the parental rights be terminated by the person that adopted the children?

The adoption is legal even if you were not legally married. You can also sue for custody or terminate your rights to the children since you are their legal father due to the adoption. It is hard to terminate rights once you adopt but if you can prove you were defrauded into believing you had a valid marriage you have reason to void the adoption and terminate your rights if you want to.

If someone lives in MN and pays child support for their biological children, if they adopt another child in a new marriage, will their current child support decrease?

Yes, your child support payment to your ex-spouse will be lowered assuming your adoption of your stepchildren is the only change in the factual and financial circumstances on which the existing child support calculation was made. The calculation of child support obligation amounts under the Minnesota Child Support Guidelines begins with a determination of each parent’s income. However, the actual dollar amount of income that is attributable to each parent is adjusted to account for several factors, one of which is a non-joint child adjustment.

How does someone obtain legal rights to their step child, medically, and legally without adoption?

The only way you can obtain "rights" to a child that is not yours would be to file for guardianship over the minor only if you can show that the parents of the child are not meeting the best interests of the child otherwise the parents will have to provide consent to the guardianship. Guardianship forms can be obtained at the court clerk in your county where probate or family law issues are addressed. This is the only way to seek guardianship over a child unless you adopt the child.

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