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Creating Your Family (Legally) with a Step Parent Adoption

Many parents are helping raise the child of their spouse yet they are doing so without any legal protection if something should happen to their spouse. Likewise, these parents are unable to provide inheritance and other benefits to the child because they have not yet taken the steps to establish a legal relationship with the child. A step parent adoption will resolve both issues and will legally solidify the loving relationship that already exists.

In a step parent adoption, the question often arises as to whether the consent of the non-custodial parent is required. It depends upon the level of involvement by the non-custodial parent. Indiana law provides that the consent is NOT required if one of the statutory exceptions can be proved. Under certain circumstances, notice of the step parent adoption to the non-custodial parent may not even be necessary.

Once a step parent adoption is granted by the Court, the parental rights of the non-custodial parent are permanently terminated and the step parent becomes the legal parent. If desired, the name of the child may be changed and a new birth certificate will be issued with the new name. The step parent will be recognized as if they were the biological parent of the child.

When considering a step parent adoption, it is essential to obtain accurate legal information. There is a massive amount of mis-information and misconceptions. Please feel free to contact me at jkirsh@kirsh.com if you have any questions.