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What is a stepparent adoption?

When you think of adoption, you may think of a family adopting a child that is not biologically related and whom they have had no previous relationship. However, this is not the only type of adoption in Wisconsin. Step parent adoption, as explained by the Department of Children and Families, is when a step parent adopts a step child. This is very common and happens all the time.

This type of adoption is most likely to happen when one parent remarries and the other parent helps to raise the child. The family bond is created and the child starts to look at the step parent as his or her mother or father. In most cases, the other biological parent is no longer in the child's life. In fact, for a legal step parent adoption, the rights of one biological parent have to be terminated. In most cases, the termination is voluntary and the parent gives up his or her rights. This must happen before the case can move forward.

After parental rights are terminated, the family will petition for adoption and undergo an investigation. The investigation is usually not as complex as other adoptions. The court just wants to be sure that the step parent adoption is in the best interest of the child. Finally, a hearing is held and the adoption is finalized. The step parent then becomes the legal parent and assumes all parental rights to the child. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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