In many Minnesota families, children have stepparents who play a crucial role in their lives. Particularly in situations where a custodial parent remarries and the noncustodial parent is mostly, if not entirely, absent from the child’s life, the stepparent fills the role of that absent parent. For any number of reasons, a stepparent may wish to be the legal parent of the child. Through this process the stepparent will attain all the rights, responsibilities and duties as if the child were born to the stepparent.
Our attorneys at the Twin Cities law firm of Hill Crabb, LLC, can explain the legal process involved in a stepparent adoption and how we can assist you in making the process a smooth one.
To achieve a stepparent adoption in Minnesota, the child must first be available to be adopted. To be available for adoption, the noncustodial biological parent must consent to the adoption by voluntarily terminating their parental rights. If the noncustodial parent agrees to the adoption the stepparent may petition the court for adoption. In cases where the child is 14 years of age or older, the child must also consent to the adoption. If the noncustodial parent does not consent to the adoption, the stepparent may petition the court to terminate the noncustodial parent’s parental rights, in limited circumstances.
Minnesota also requires the stepparent be a resident of the state of Minnesota, and that a post-placement adoption study be completed. Both requirements may be waived by the court upon application to the court showing that a waiver serves the best interest of child.
Contact Hill Crabb, LLC, for a consultation regarding your stepparent adoption case.