Adoptions of minors typically fall into three categories: step-parent adoption, relative adoption and non-relative adoption.
Step-parent adoptions are the most common type of adoptions and they occur when a new spouse adopts the minor child(ren) of the other spouse. When completed with the consent of both biological parents, the procedure is more expeditious and may not require a litigated hearing. If one biological parent does not consent, then a litigated hearing is typically needed.
A relative of the child(ren) who petitions to adopt the child(ren) are classified as “relative adoptions.” These typically occur where both biological parents are deceased. Relative adoptions undergo scrutiny and examination as do the step-parent and non-relative adoptions and the Court can approve or deny any application and petition for a relative independent adoption.
Non-relative adoptions of minors happen when the adoption is by a person other than a blood relative and typically follow a previously established guardianship. An example of such would be when a step-parent petitions the Court to adopt his or her step-child(ren) after the biological parent passes away.
If you would like guidance through this process, please contact our office to set up a consultation.