There are a lot of stepparents in Michigan and elsewhere who would love to adopt their stepchildren. But how does one go about doing this? There are a lot of questions that need answers before any actions can be taken, some of those will be address in this week’s column. A family law attorney will be able to provide even further detail and assist with the adoption process when one is ready.

The first question that will be discussed is: What is the adoptions process like? Adopting a stepchild is a bit easier than other child adoptions. However, before a decision can be made home visits and adoptions hearing may still be required. If these things are requested by the court, the adoption process can take quite some time.

The next question to be addressed is: Is birth parent consent required? Yes, unless their parental rights have already been terminated. Getting consent is required because it will be necessary that a birth parent give up his or her rights to his or her children. This is not something that many are willing to do without a lot of thought and consideration.

The final question that will be discussed is: What if consent is not given? If consent is not granted, but adoption is still wanted, it may still be possible to have the birth parent’s rights terminated. This will require one to provide evidence that the parent is either unfit or that he or she abandoned his or her child.

Stepparent adoptions are either really easy because everyone is on board, or really difficult because of consent issues. Everyone’s situation is different. An experienced family law attorney can assist Michigan residents who are ready to tackle all the good and the bad that accompanies stepparent adoption cases.

Source: FindLaw, “Stepparent Adoption FAQ’s“, Accessed on April 9, 2017