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Stepparent Adoption in Illinois

Posted in Divorce, Family Law, Visitation on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

While every divorce chances the lives of parents and children who go through the process, not every child or parent of a child is affected in the same manner. Some parents and children maintain a close bond with one another following the finalization of a divorce while others slowly (or swiftly, in some cases) drift apart. Children who find themselves in the latter group and distanced from the nonresidential parent may instead bond with the residential parent’s new partner. This bond may become so strong that the child and/or the new partner may wish for the new partner to adopt the child as his or her own.

While a stepparent adoption is difficult, it is not impossible. With the help of an experienced family law firm like Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino, & Pollack, P.C., you, your child, and your new partner can create a new family together.

What Adoption Accomplishes from a Legal Perspective

When a child is adopted by a stepparent, there are certain legal changes that occur of which you should be aware. This includes:

  • The nonresidential parent no longer has any parental rights to the child and generally has no basis for requesting or receiving visitation with the child or having any say over how the child is raised;
  • The nonresidential parent will usually no longer have an obligation to provide child support. In other words, any child support that would have been paid to you in the future is usually stopped once the adoption is finalized; and
  • The adopted child will generally not be eligible to receive any property belonging to the nonresidential parent through intestate succession. However, the adopted child would generally be able to receive property through the laws of intestate succession as to the adoptive parent.

Because there are serious consequences to an adoption (both for the nonresidential parent as well as the adoptive parent), it is highly advisable that all parties involved seek legal counsel before an adoption is finalized.

Why Adoption is NOT an Easy Process in Illinois

Even where you and your new partner are in agreement that the new partner should adopt your child as his or her own, the process is not necessarily easy. If your child’s other natural parent does not consent to the adoption, an adoption can only be granted upon a finding by the court that the other natural parent is unfit, that his or her parental rights should be involuntarily severed, and that adoption is in the child’s best interests.

Seek Help for Your Illinois Adoption

With the experienced assistance and counsel of a Joliet family law attorney from Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino, & Pollack, P.C.,  an adoption need not be prohibitively difficult or complicated. Speak with our attorneys today about your adoption goals and we will help you create and follow through on a plan to achieve your goals. Call or contact Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino, & Pollack, P.C., and schedule a free initial consultation with us today.

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