Adoption & Stepparent Adoption

Adoption issues are complex. Determining what is in the best interest of the child, getting a parent to relinquish paternity, and going though the adoption process can be confusing and emotionally draining.

We understand that bringing a family together through adoption is a joyous occasion. It can also be an intensive process. Our attorneys serve as compassionate counsel to people working through stepparent adoptions, grandparent adoption, interfamily adoption, and uncontested adoptions.

One of the most intensive steps in the adoption process, especially for stepparent adoptions and grandparent adoptions, is locating the non-custodial parent and getting them to relinquish their parental rights. While it is more complicated to adopt a child when a parent can not be located, we are ready to assist you in the adoption process, from our first meeting through the issuing of the adoption decree.

Our overriding concern in representing clients through the adoption process is to help build families that provide the best living situation for the child. We understand the joy and frustration of creating strong families through adoption and we are committed to working with families to reach that goal.

Generally, a step parent adoption involves a man / woman who has remarried and has a child (or children) from a previous relationship. When there is little or no contact with the biological father or mother, the primary parent /child relationship forms between the step parent and the child. When this occurs, an adoption by the step parent is a good idea, so that the step parent has legal recognition as the child's parent. If this legal procedure is not undertaken and completed, the birth father / mother may be able to assert his / her rights as a parent, should the other birth parent becomes incapacitated. A step parent adoption thus enables the step parent to ensure that the child and new family unit remain secure.

The law requires that the birth father / mother be given notice of adoption proceedings. Ordinarily, the birth father is supportive of the adoption. The birth father no longer owes child support once the adoption is finalized. He is still responsible, however, for any back child support incurred up to the time of the final adoption. A consent is presented to the birth father for signature. If the birth father signs the consent, the birth father's rights are voluntarily terminated and the step father may proceed with an adoption.

If the birth father refuses to sign a consent, or it is impossible to locate the birth father, it is still possible to terminate the birth father's rights. It may be necessary to publish notice to the birth father in a newspaper with general circulation in the area of the birth father's last known address. This gives the birth father notice of the proceedings and, if the birth father fails to respond, his rights are terminated by the court.

Choose a firm that is dedicated to protecting your rights with compassion, providing personal attention, and achieving timely solutions. To schedule a consultation with an attorney at one of our four convenient Northeast Wisconsin locations, please call toll free at 1-888-557-7573 or e-mail us today. We offer flexible appointment hours. Credit cards and payment plans accepted.