Stepparent Adoptions are a great way to provide legal protections and certainty to a parent-child relationship when that child is the biological child of your partner.
In these cases, both parents “petition” the court for the non-birth parent (stepparent) to adopt the child. These cases can be tricky if there is a biological parent who is not involved (i.e., has abandoned the child). If the other biological parent is deceased, you must obtain and file a death certificate.
Even when the biological parent supports adoption, there are complicated procedures to follow, such as signing a proper consent to adoption. We handle that process. A background check will usually still apply and we can advise you on how to complete that, too. A home study often must be done, but that may be waived. We help you by filing motions for waivers of home studies.
What about the stepchild’s inheritance rights? In Minnesota, and most states, the law protects the child’s rights to inherit from his biological parents, even after the stepparent adoption is finalized.
We show up at court with you after we have drafted and filed a final judgment and decree of adoption. When the adoption is final, our work isn’t done. We then assist you in obtaining a new birth record showing the stepparent as a co-equal parent on the child’s birth record. We advise you on Social Security benefits for the child, as well.