In many TV re-marriages, there is a touching moment when the new parent offers to adopt the spouse’s child, and the child accepts. Often this is the end of that particular plotline. But is adopting your spouse’s child from a previous marriage actually that easy?
In Illinois, step-parent adoption is possible and common, and it occurs when you legally become a parent to a child after marrying a current, legal parent. Though it is also called adoption, it is a very different, more streamlined process than adopting a child through an agency or private adoption.
First, both biological parents, if involved in the child’s life, must consent to the adoption. This can be a difficult step, depending on the relationship between ex-spouses. The child, if over 14, must consent as well. After that, the step-parent adoption can be completed in as few as thirty days by filling out the proper forms and cooperating with the court.
The biggest roadblock occurs with the child’s other biological parent objecting. The court has the ability to determine that parent’s unfitness, and they often consider the ability of the adults to provide for the child, as well as the relationship of the child and step-parent.
If you are considering legally adopting your spouse’s child, recruiting an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer can make the process run smoothly and efficiently. Contact The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman today for a consultation about your potential step-parent adoption.