No matter how you become a family, there may be no greater joy than welcoming a child into your life. In some instances, when an Illinois parent remarries, their new spouse may form an exceptional bond with their child. This bond can be cemented through a stepparent adoption, although there can be obstacles to overcome before reaching that goal.

Even if a child no longer has any contact with a biological parent, that parent can still object to a stepparent adoption. In this instance, the court will usually carefully investigate what kind of relationship — or lack thereof — exists between the two and will then act only on what will benefit the child the most. Even if it is determined that adoption is in a child’s best interests, it may not be the end of the road. Often, a social worker may have to formally investigate, including a home visit.

Additionally, if a biological parent does still have rights, terminating those rights is typically required before an adoption can occur. However, terminating a parent’s rights isn’t necessarily easy, even if the biological parent hasn’t been involved in the child’s life. Even factors such as their employment and mental health may be considered before a court determines if a parent’s rights should be terminated in order to permit a stepparent adoption to occur.

We understand how excited your family may be to finally fully join together legally. Before embarking on this trek, it is important to understand how a stepparent adoption will affect the child, if a biological parent still has rights and what factors may influence a court in terminating those rights. Our firm has the experience and knowledge necessary to get the process moving to ensure that every aspect of the adoption process is considered. If you’re still unsure what options you have for establishing your new family in Illinois, this page may help clear up any confusion.