top of page

Stepparent Adoptions

Stepparent Adoptions

Step-parent adoption is a legal process where a step-parent becomes the legal parent of their spouse’s child. This process severs the legal ties between the child and their non-custodial biological parent and creates a new legal relationship with the step-parent.

Benefits of Step-Parent Adoption:

  1. Legal Rights: Grants the step-parent full parental rights and responsibilities.

  2. Inheritance: Ensures the child can inherit from the step-parent.

  3. Stability: Provides emotional and financial stability for the child.

  4. Legal Recognition: Offers official recognition of the parent-child relationship.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • The step-parent must be legally married to the child’s custodial parent.

  • The child must be under 18 years old.

  • The non-custodial parent must consent to the adoption, or their parental rights must be terminated due to abandonment, neglect, or other legal reasons.



  1. Consultation: Meet with a family law attorney to understand the process and requirements.

  2. Petition: File a petition for adoption with the local court.

  3. Consent: Obtain consent from the non-custodial parent, if necessary.

  4. Home Study: A home study may be required to ensure the child’s well-being.

  5. Hearing: Attend a court hearing where a judge reviews the case and makes a decision.

  6. Finalization: If approved, the adoption is finalized, and a new birth certificate is issued.


Legal Considerations:

  • Consent Issues: If the non-custodial parent does not consent, the court must determine if their consent is necessary.

  • Termination of Parental Rights: The court may terminate the non-custodial parent's rights if they are found unfit or have abandoned the child.

  • Best Interests of the Child: The court always prioritizes the child’s best interests in making adoption decisions.

Please complete one of the following links as these will help your attorney have complete and accurate information about your case. 

Completing an intake form does not create an attorney-client relationship with Cox & Koons, LLP | Attorneys at Law. After completing this form and a consultation, the firm will determine if it is able to accept your case. If the firm is willing and able to accept your case, you will receive an Attorney Services Agreement. You must sign and return the agreement within the specific time. Upon the firm's receipt of the signed agreement and your compliance with the payment terms, an attorney-client relationship is formed.

bottom of page