Category: Step-Parent Adoption
Adopting stepchildren is an important step in converting a blended family into a cohesive unit where both parents carry equal weight with the children, but it involves much more than following the appropriate court procedures. Each Minnesota stepparent adoption lawyer at our firm firmly believes that all family members need to go through significant emotional preparation so they already live and act like a typical family before they make the adoption official in court.
Marrying a person with children creates a stepparent relationship that, over time, seems no different than a biological relationship. When both biological parents are alive and taking an active role in the upbringing of their children, MN law prevents stepparents from adopting the children.
Each Minnesota stepparent adoption attorney at our firm sees a number of different types of relative adoption cases, but perhaps the most common type is adoption by a stepparent. Particularly from an emotional point of view, this makes sense. It brings a full level of unity to families by removing perceived relationship barriers between stepparents and the children born to their spouses. Of course, when second marriages create families with children from both spouses, these adoptions can also equalize the relationship between all of the children.
Once the honeymoon period is over, newly-married spouses generally go into an adjustment period as they blend the habits and needs of two individuals into a single working unit. Parents entering into second marriages may also have new children whom they know well, even if they have not lived together yet.
Step-parent adoption, in Minnesota, involves four key steps: (1) termination of parental rights; (2) a petition for adoption; (3) background checks by court services; and (4) a final hearing. The first step in the process of step-parent adoption, a termination of parental rights, is the most challenging aspects of these cases. The very nature of a step-parent adoption presumes that a child's biological parent (typically, but not necessarily, the father) has been denied the ongoing right to a parent/child relationship. Termination of parental rights …
Step-parent adoption is an enjoyable part of our family law practice. Here are a few of the key concepts: Termination of Parental Rights: Biological parent executes paperwork to terminate rights to child. Two week cooling off period applies. Petition: Remaining parent, and spouse, file Petition for Adoption with the Court with all relevant paperwork. Background Information: Some counties require a limited amount of background information gathered concerning the step-parent, including a criminal history. Hearing: Once the background check is …