After a child's biological parent remarries, the stepparent may want to play an essential role in the child's upbringing, care, and well-being. Through stepparent adoption, the stepparent may seek to become the legal parent to their stepchild (spouse's child). If you're considering adopting your stepchild or want to understand how stepparent adoption works, you need to consult with an experienced Michigan family law attorney for proper guidance.  

At Bowden Law, PLLC, I have the knowledge, resources, and trustworthy advocacy clients need in family law and adoption-related matters. Also, I have the tools to discuss your unique situation and help you understand some of the benefits of stepparent adoption. I can inform you of the legal steps involved in adopting your stepchild and help you navigate important decisions.  

Bowden Law, PLLC proudly serves clients across Clinton Township, Michigan, and the surrounding areas of Michigan, including Macomb County and Sterling Heights.

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The Benefits of Adopting Your Stepchild 

Stepparent adoption is the legal adoption of the child of a marital partner. It occurs when a stepparent adopts their stepchild – the child of their current partner or spouse. For instance, if a single mother – divorcée with a child – remarries, her new partner may decide to adopt her child through stepparent adoption. Here are some benefits of adopting your stepchild:  

  • It allows you to have the legal rights and responsibilities of the child's biological parent.  

  • It allows you to provide adequate care, love, and comfort to the stepchild.  

  • It allows you to provide security, show continued commitment, and a sense of belonging to both the stepparent and the stepchild.  

  • It makes it possible for the stepchild to inherit the stepparent's estate and property.  

  • It allows your stepchild to have access to your life insurance, medical insurance policy, and other benefits.  

  • It allows the stepparent to make crucial decisions regarding the stepchild's medical care, education, religion, and other life's essential matters.  

  • It helps you reduce or eliminate the influence of a problematic non-custodial parent.  

Essentially, both the stepparent and their stepchild stand to gain a lot from a stepparent adoption. However, before stepparent adoption can be possible, you will need to terminate the parental rights of the child's other parent. 

Termination of Non-Custodial
Parent's Rights 

As mentioned earlier, before a child can be adopted in Michigan, terminating the parental rights of the non-custodial parent is required. This terminates the other parent's parental privileges and visitation rights. In Michigan, there are two general ways to terminate the parents' rights – voluntary and involuntary termination. 

Voluntary Termination 

Voluntary termination occurs when the non-custodial parent voluntarily agrees to relinquish their parental rights. This requires giving their consent and signing a release through the court. Once done, you may be able to proceed with the stepparent adoption. 

Involuntary Termination 

In involuntary termination, the custodial parent or a third party may file a petition in court seeking that the other parent's rights should be terminated. Some grounds for involuntary termination include – Michigan Legislature - Section 712A.19b

  • Abandonment – No contact with the child for two year 

  • Failure to provide parental support to the child 

  • Failure to support the child financially 

  • Abuse or harm to the child 

  • The parent is unfit to raise the child. 

An experienced attorney can determine the right way to terminate the non-custodial parent's rights and walk you through the stepparent adoption process. 

The Stepparent Adoption Process 

Adopting your stepchild in Michigan isn't as complicated as other forms of adoption. Here are the steps involved:  

  • Gather the necessary information and documentation, including birth certificates of all parties involved, marriage certificate, divorce decree for the biological parent, and Affidavit of Parentage.  

  • Terminate the other parent's parental rights.  

  • If the stepchild is 14 years or older, they must agree to the adoption by signing a Consent to Adoption by Adoptee.  

  • Submit the necessary documentation and file your stepparent adoption petition.  

Once you file, an employee of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) or the Michigan court will conduct an investigation and write a report. The judge will review the report and determine whether to approve the adoption.  

What’s more, a hearing will be scheduled to complete the adoption process and make it official. A skilled Michigan stepparent adoption attorney can guide you through the entire process, help you navigate crucial decisions, and improve your chances of a successful adoption. 

Get Compassionate Legal Action  

Stepparent adoption in Michigan is quite straightforward. Nonetheless, there are still important steps you need to take to ensure successful adoption. Therefore, if you're considering adopting your stepchild, consulting with a talented family law attorney is vital for detailed advice and to help you make informed decisions.  

At Bowden Law, PLLC, I am aware of the complexities of stepparent adoption. I can assess every detail of your special situation, help determine your eligibility for stepparent adoption, and take the required legal steps to terminate the parental rights of the child's other parent.  

Furthermore, I will help file your adoption case, submit the necessary documentation, and attend court hearings on your behalf. I will advise you through every phase of the Michigan stepparent adoption process and help ensure a seamless, legal, and successful adoption.

Stepparent Adoption Attorney Serving
Clinton Township, MI

If you need proper assistance with stepparent adoption, contact Bowden Law, PLLC today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. I possess the personalized legal counsel and loyal advocacy you need to maneuver the adoption process. I proudly serve clients across Clinton Township, Macomb County, and Sterling Heights, Michigan. Contact me for compassionate legal action today.