Blended families are extremely common in Minnesota and the rest of the country. After a divorce, each individual naturally begins their new life and this often means that they meet someone who they wish to re-marry. When children are in the picture and custody arrangements are involved, however, things can be complicated quickly, especially when a step-parent wants to adopt a their husband or wife’s child. You may be surprised to learn that Minnesota law sees this this request as if there is a bid for sole custody of the child. As a result, in order for a child to be adopted by a step parent, the noncustodial parent is effectively asked to surrender his or her parental rights. As you might imagine, this may create a difficult and complex situation which can kick up significant conflict between parents.
Potential Issues To Consider As you’re deciding on Step Child Adoption
On the one hand, there are certainly cases in which the noncustodial parent has given up parental rights and responsibilities. This also means that they are no longer responsible financially for the child, so there are Minnesota family law cases where step parent’s adopting their spouse’s child is clearly in the best interest of all involved. If, however the other biological parent does not want to voluntarily give up his/her parental rights, the case for step child adoption is a difficult one to make, unless you can demonstrate that the biological parent has abandoned the child, failed to pay child support, and has made no effort to be in contact with the child.
There are a couple of very important things to note about the Minnesota family law regarding cases like these. First, if the child is 14 years old or older, he/she will have a say in this decision, and will be asked about it directly by the courts. Open communication is critical with a situation like this. In addition, if you intend to try to prove that that non-custodial parent has abandoned the child, you and your new spouse will also be under the microscope, so to speak. The welfare of the child is the court’s top priority, so they will want to make sure that the adoption is what is best for the child.
Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn: Minnesota’s Family Law Experts
If you have been thinking about exploring the option of adopting your step child, you may want to consider partnering with a law firm experienced in the step parent adoption process. The attorneys and staff Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn have decades of experience with all types of Minnesota family law and are dedicated to helping clients find solutions to the most difficult problems. Give our team a call at 1-763-427-5131 for more information.