Stepparent Adoptions

Protecting the rights of new Families

As a stepparent, you play a big role in the life of your spouse's child. Children from previous marriages become an important element of your new family. You want the same rights and obligations, as would a biological parent. Stepparent adoptions create such a relationship.

At the Shimmell Law Offices, attorney Dennis Shimmell will assist you in adopting a stepchild. Contact us to learn more about stepparent adoptions.

The Stepparent Adoption Process

The process of adopting a child is a relatively easy process and in most instances requires little time. The most challenging part of the stepparent adoption process is the first step, terminating the rights of the biological parents. Our firm will petition the court. Termination can be either voluntarily or involuntarily. We will work to ensure that any termination proceeds smoothly.

If a parent agrees to give up parental rights over a child voluntarily, a parent may simply sign a document relinquishing parental rights. This is the easiest way for a person to adopt a child.

You can also have the court terminate a person's parental rights involuntarily during a stepparent adoption. If the biological parent is uncooperative, you can petition the court to step in. You must prove to the court that the biological parent of your child had the financial means to support a child, and failed to do so. Additionally, you must prove that the non-custodial parent failed to communicate with the child for at least two years prior to filing the termination petition.

Stepparent adoptions provide you with a sense of security over the relationship with a stepchild. It affords you a level of comfort knowing that law recognizes the relationship you have with your child. It allows you to continue your relationship with your children even if the unexpected happens to your spouse.

To speak to a stepparent adoption lawyer about your rights, contact the Shimmell Law Offices for an initial consultation. We guide stepparents through the adoption process throughout Western Michigan, including people in Muskegon, Holland, and Kent County.