Waukesha County Stepparent Adoption Lawyers

Stepparent adoptions can come with many benefits, but while they are easier to accomplish than traditional adoptions, they still require a significant amount of legalities and paperwork. Also, stepparent adoption can not be accomplished unless you are married to one of the child’s biological parents, and unless the other parent’s rights have been effectively terminated. At MacGillis Wiemer, LLC, we understand that children often view stepparents as “real” parents, and that the love a stepparent has for his or her stepchild is equivalent to that which he or she might show toward a biological child. We strive to help these blended families become whole, at least in the eyes of the law, and to ensure that stepparents and children alike can benefit from a smooth and uncomplicated adoption.

Benefits of Making Parenthood Official 

There are several benefits to making your parenthood official, many of which you may not realize now, but will become evident in the future. The most common reasons stepparents choose to adopt include the following:

  • Passing on an inheritance becomes easier when you pass away;
  • Your child will receive a new birth certificate with you listed as the natural mother or father;
  • Your child will be able to assume your last name;
  • You will be entitled to make medical and other major decisions regarding your child’s welfare; and
  • You, your child, and your spouse will experience emotional benefits and a strengthening in your bond.

Hurdles to Stepparent Adoption

Unfortunately, obtaining a stepparent adoption is not easy. In fact, if the child’s other biological parent is still in the picture, you may find that the path to adoption is extremely complex if not impossible. That said, there are four major hurdles to stepparent adoption that our Waukesha County stepparent adoption attorneys strive to help families overcome:

  • The termination of the other biological parent’s parental rights;
  • An agency investigation;
  • Filing a petition to adopt and order for investigation; and
  • The hearing for stepparent adoption.

Terminating the other parent’s parental rights will undoubtedly be the most challenging barrier that you face when trying to make your parenthood official. Unless the other parent is completely out of the picture or voluntarily waives his or her rights, it is unlikely that the courts will force the issue, as most courts agree that the presence and participation of both parents in a child’s life is what is best. However, there are circumstances in which a judge might agree that the absence of a parent might be best. For instance, if a parent is in jail, has been convicted of a horrible crime, or is abusive sexually, physically, or emotionally, the judge might feel it is in the child’s best interests to terminate that parent’s rights. Moreover, if the parent has abandoned the child on more than one occasion, the judge might decide that the child needs a more stable father or mother figure and terminate the biological parent’s rights.

Hire a Stepparent Adoption Lawyer in Waukesha County

Most counties throughout Wisconsin require a skilled attorney to handle the legalities of the adoption process, but even if your county does not, it is highly recommended that you work with an attorney regardless. A skilled Waukesha County stepparent adoption lawyer can guide you through the process, submit all the necessary paperwork in a timely fashion, prepare for the agency investigation and adoption hearing, and make sure that everything is in place for when the adoption does go through. Get on the path to making your parenthood official and contact MacGillis Wiemer, LLC, today.