Making Your Parental Relationship Official
As a DuPage County adoption lawyer, Sherby’s focus is on adult and stepparent adoptions. Her typical clients have been in parental relationships that have lasted for years, but were never legally recognized. From her Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois office, she helps her clients give parent/child relationships the official legal status they deserve.
When a custodial parent remarries after a divorce, the new spouse often takes on an important parenting role for the child. It is not uncommon for the child and stepparent to form a deep bond and a desire to have that relationship legally recognized through a stepparent adoption.
If the child is still a minor, normally the other birth parent needs to approve the adoption by agreeing to a termination of parental rights. The approval is not necessary for a minor child if the legal parent has been declared unfit. Sometimes the stepparent and child simply wait until the child is 18 years old to avoid the other birth parent’s potential objections.
There are other scenarios in which one adult has been like a parent to another person for years. When this happens, often the parties want the older party to legally adopt the younger person thus formalizing the relationship for elder care decisions or for purposes of inheritance.