Stepparent adoption is the most common form of adoption in the United States. Once the adoption is finalized, the stepparent assumes full financial and legal responsibility for his or her spouse’s child and the non-custodial parent’s rights and responsibilities are terminated.
Stepparent adoptions are handled according to state law, and can vary across jurisdictions. For example, some states may not require a home study in cases of stepparent adoption. Some states may require that the biological parent and stepparent be married for a specified length of time before an adoption may be finalized. Stepparent adoptions generally require the consent of both of the child’s birth parents, but the process is handled differently in various states. Fortunately for blended families, most states make the stepparent adoption process easier than other adoptions.
If you are considering a stepparent adoption it is important to get guidance from an experienced attorney who understands the process and can advise you on your options.