The Law Office of Christina Martell

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How to Prepare for a Step-Parent Adoption in Illinois

Posted on in Adoption

Warrenville family law attorney adoption

When you get married to someone who is already a parent, you often form a close bond with his or her children as well. In some cases, you may decide that it is in the children’s best interest for you to become their legal parent. Step-parent adoptions can be a great way to ensure that children are provided for and supported by a two-parent household, and if you believe this option is right for your family, you can take the necessary legal steps to make sure the adoption goes smoothly with the help of a family law attorney who is well-versed in Illinois law.

Following the Step-Parent Adoption Process

The best way to ensure that you follow the proper procedures for a step-parent adoption is to hire an experienced adoption attorney early on who can guide you through the process and help you address any challenges that arise. Typically, these challenges involve someone else who can claim parental rights. Depending on the situation, you should be prepared to:

  • Determine whether the child currently has another legal parent. If the child’s other parent is deceased or has already been ruled unfit in a court of law, the adoption can often proceed without complications. However, if someone else can claim parentage, you may need assistance identifying and locating him or her.

  • Obtain consent from the other parent for the termination of parental rights. If the child currently has a legal parent who is willing to concede parental rights, an attorney can help you obtain that person’s signed consent to file with the court and allow your adoption to proceed.

  • Prove that another legal parent is unfit. If the child’s other parent does not consent to the adoption, you will need to seek a court ruling declaring him or her unfit to be a parent. An attorney can help you collect evidence and testimony establishing that the other parent has abandoned, neglected, or abused the child, has failed to show interest or provide child support, or poses a risk to the child due to violent behavior or drug addiction.

While it may be challenging in some cases to finalize a step-parent adoption, the benefits are worth the effort so that the children can benefit from financial support, insurance coverage, future inheritances, and the stabilizing presence of another loving parent.

Contact a Wheaton Adoption Attorney

At The Law Office of Christina Martell, we are committed to helping families of all kinds successfully complete adoptions that improve the lives of the children involved. Contact our qualified and compassionate DuPage County family law attorneys today at 630-717-2772 to learn more about how we can assist you during the legal process so you can realize your dream of becoming a family. We offer consultations for $100, which is credited toward your bill moving forward upon hiring our firm.




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