Stepparent Adoption


#1

My husband has a 6 y/o son from a previous relationship. He and the birth Mother(BM)weren’t married and never married. He has never seen and/or had contact with his son. Paternity has been established and a Voluntary Child Support Agreement was signed.

BM contacted us over the weekend stating her husband wants to adopt their son as this is the only person he’s known as his Father. Only caveat is, she wants us to pay for the adoption. She did the same thing approximately 2-3 years ago. My husband went to his attorney, got the necessary information and costs and contacted BM with the attorney contact information. She never contacted the attorney and we didn’t hear another word out of her until now. My husband told her he’d have to think about it and get back to her in a week.

I’ve been doing some research about stepparent adoption and found some online forms on the DSS website. They are: Petition for Adoption of A Minor Child (Stepparent), Consent to Adoption By Parent Who Is Spouse of Stepparent (Stepparent Adoption), Consent to Adoption By Parent Who Is Not The Stepparent’s Spouse (Stepparent Adoption) and Decree of Adoption. I am assuming the Consent to Adoption by the party that is not the stepparent’s spouse is the form my husband would complete (should he agree to the adoption) providing his consent to the adoption.

My questions are:

  1. Do parental rights have to be terminated prior to filing a Petition for Adoption of a Minor Child (Stepparent)? Or does the decree of adoption effectively terminate parental rights?

  2. If my husband provides his consent (assuming all he has to do is complete the above-referenced consent) will that be sufficient in terminating his parental rights?

  3. Is it necessary for an attorney to be involved if all parties are in agreement on the adoption? It appears that it’s just a matter of filling out forms and letting it run its course.

  4. Once the adoption is complete, what would be required to terminate child support? I know there are some AOC forms regarding termination of order for wage withholding but I didn’t see any form for terminating child support.

  5. Would the BM have to initiate filing for termination of child support or could my husband do this?

Thanks in advance for your help!