My wife has children from a previous marriage. I love them like they are my own, is there a way for me to adopt them?

A Stepparent Adoption may be done so long as you and your spouse are legally married or registered as domestic partners.  In a stepparent adoption, one of the biological parents remains the child’s parent.  If the other biological parent (in this case the father) is willing to consent to the adoption and terminate their parental rights, then a Stepparent Adoption can be a fairly simple process.  The biological parent that is terminating their rights to the child will no longer have any right to visit the child and will no longer be responsible for paying child support.

When the biological parent does not consent to terminating their parental rights, the adoption is then called a contested stepparent adoption.  These adoptions are much more difficult to have granted by the judge because you must show that the other birth parent has abandoned the child for over a year and not paid any child support or voluntarily not seen or talked to the child.  A contested stepparent adoption may also be granted if the other birth parent has been convicted of a felony, the facts of which are of such a nature as to prove the unfitness of the parent to have the future custody of the child.

As a stepmom, Shannon O’Neill understands the up’s and down’s that stepparents experience and she loves assisting families to become complete through legal adoption.  Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions regarding the stepparent adoption process.