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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Important Issues to Remember in a Step-Parent Adoption in Illinois

Posted on in Family Law

Oak Brook step-parent adoption attorney

In recent years, the number of Americans who have gotten remarried after getting divorced has increased quite dramatically. The Pew Research Center reports that 40 percent of new marriages in 2013 included at least one spouse who had previously been married before. Having children from a previous marriage is not out of the ordinary, and blended families have become common in American society. In some blended families, the non-biological parent may want to legally adopt their spouse’s children. This is called a related adoption or, more specifically, a step-parent adoption. There is more than just one reason why a person would want to adopt their spouse’s children, but there are also a few things you should understand about step-parent adoptions before you do so:

  • Children can only have two legal parents at any given time. Illinois law states that a child can have no more than two legal parents. This can pose problems for step-parents who want to legally adopt their spouse’s child, especially if the child’s other biological parent objects to the adoption.

  • Certain parties must give their consent to the adoption. The first step in completing a step-parent adoption is getting consent from all applicable parties. If the child’s other biological parent is in the picture, he or she much relinquish his or her parental rights in order for the step-parent to adopt the child. If the other parent refuses to relinquish his or her rights, a petition may be filed asking the court to terminate the parental rights of the biological parent. In addition, a child over the age of 14 must also consent to the adoption.

  • Not just any step-parent is permitted to adopt a child. In Illinois, only the step-parent who is married to the parent who has the majority of parenting time is permitted to adopt the child. In other words, a judge will not grant an adoption if the child does not spend the majority of his or her time with the spouse of the adopting step-parent.

Thinking of Pursuing a Step-Parent Adoption? Get in Touch With a DuPage County Family Law Attorney Today

By far, the most common type of adoption in the U.S. and Illinois are related adoptions. Any type of adoption involves a lot of work, dedication, and patience on the family’s part, but step-parent adoptions pose unique conundrums that others do not. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we understand how much a step-parent adoption can mean to a family. Our compassionate Elmhurst, IL adoption lawyers will help you throughout the entire process, making it as easy as possible. Call our office today at 630-852-9700 to schedule a free consultation.


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