Stepchild Adoption

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While it isn’t always the best solution, for many, stepchild adoption can offer many wonderful benefits to a child including permanency, sharing the family name, and reinforcing the sense of belonging and identity.

In most cases, stepchild adoption is much like any other type of adoption. The stepparent files a petition, documents are submitted to the court indicating that the absent parent has consented to the adoption, or that consent is not required for various reasons, or that parental rights have been terminated, and the court process proceeds.

It sounds simple, and in many cases it is, but there is information every stepparent needs to know, including that the law varies from state to state, and in the case where the relationship between the biological parent and the absent parent is strained, obtaining consent or getting parental rights terminated can be complex and time-consuming. It's important to know the law and legal requirements, and to be aware of issues such as grandparent visitation. is pleased to offer the #1 guide to help you through the stepchild adoption process.

Stepparent Adoption (print)

"Stepparent Adoption: A Resource Book" is available through Written by noted adoption author and researcher Tim O’Hanlon, Ph.D., the book provides comprehensive laws and formalities for all states, explores emotional issues for families and children, and includes in-depth information about laws and legal issues relating to consent from the non-custodial parent, second-parent adoption, and grandparent visitation.

If you are considering adopting your stepchild, this book is the best place to start and can help significantly to simplify the stepchild adoption process for you.

Additional Reading

Stepparent Adoption, from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
State Adoption Laws

Stepchild Adoption Forums

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