Elmhurst Lawyers for Uncontested Step-Parent Adoptions
Adoption Attorneys Serving DuPage and Cook County
Families are not solely made through biological ties; the strongest families are created by love. When a stepparent desires to adopt, he or she is making a choice to love, connect and provide for a child on a deeper level. While some biological, noncustodial parents wish to retain their parental rights, there are times when a stepparent's desire to adopt a child will be acceptable without objection. This lack of opposition is known as an uncontested adoption.
Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC is an experienced boutique family law firm offering personalized service to stepparents who want to pursue adoption. Stepparent adoptions are one of the most common types of adoption in Illinois. Our knowledgeable adoption lawyers provide dedicated support to help ensure that the process will go as smoothly as possible.
Common Reasons for Uncontested Adoptions
A stepparent adoption may be uncontested for several reasons. Some of the most common involve a biological parent who is deceased or:
- has not been involved in the child's life for many years or has never been involved;
- formally or informally volunteers to relinquish his or her parental rights;
- is categorized as an unfit parent with no legal parental rights due to extreme situations such as felony conviction, drug use, neglect, desertion, or abusive tendencies; or
- cannot be located despite numerous attempts at contact.
Often, such adoptions are completed privately and may occur without the assistance of an adoption agency. Whether or not an agency is used, it is imperative to work with a skilled adoption attorney because Illinois family laws have stringent guidelines that must be followed.
How to Initiate a Step-parent Adoption
Adopting a child can be an emotional process for all involved. Being sensitive to the needs of your family and taking the right steps to ensure all paperwork is in order will contribute to a strong foundation now and in the years to come.
It is highly recommended that you work with an attorney who will properly review and file your adoption agreement to avoid future challenges. When you work with our experienced family law attorneys we will help you navigate the following adoption concerns:
- Eligibility to adopt, including a screening of the potential step-parent.
- Consent of the Birth Parent - The child's other parent must be notified of the adoption and give consent. This consent is a signed document known as a Final and Irrevocable Consent to Adoption. Alternatively, the Birth Parent can be found in default if he or she cannot be located or chooses not to respond.
- Consent of the Child (if applicable) - If the child is over the age of 14, he or she has a legal right to offer consent.
- Any other issue that may arise in your adoption process.
Once all potential concerns are addressed, we will file a Petition for Adoption. After the Petition is filed, our attorneys will navigate you through the court system (including court appearances), and the investigation undergone by the appointed Guardian ad Litem. After approximately six months, a final hearing may occur in which the adoption will be formally recognized. Once final, it is possible to obtain a revised birth certificate showing the child's new name and listing the Petitioners as the parents.
Contact a Skilled Elmhurst Family Law Attorney
If you are a stepparent who wishes to begin the adoption process, please contact our dedicated family law attorneys today. We will review your matter, answer your questions and advise you on the next steps. You may call our office by dialing 312-605-4041 or contact us online to obtain the representation you and your family deserve.