STEPPARENT ADOPTION LAW
In a stepparent adoption, a parent’s new spouse adopts a child the parent had with a previous partner. Stepparent adoption law allows for procedures that are less cumbersome than agency or independent adoption procedures. The process is simplified if the child’s other birth parent consents to the adoption. If the other birth parent cannot be found or if he or she refuses to consent to the adoption, there is more paperwork to do and the process is more involved. A consultation with an attorney can discuss the process in more detail, especially if there are issues involving the identity or location of a birth parent.
RELATIVE ADOPTION LAW
In a relative adoption, a member of the child’s family steps forward to adopt. Grandparents often adopt their grandchildren if the parents die while the children are minors, or if the parents are unable to take care of the children for other reasons (such as incarceration or alcohol dependence). In most states, these adoptions are easier than non-relative adoptions. If the adopted child has siblings who are not adopted at the same time, relative adoption law usually provides for contact between the siblings after the adoption.