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Understanding 3 Common Types of Adoption in Wisconsin

Posted on in Family Law

Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for step-parent and same-sex adoptionBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Adopting a child can make a huge difference in his or her life by providing a loving parent and a source of safety, support, and stability. That said, a successful adoption also requires a major commitment on the part of the parent, and that starts with making sure that you follow the appropriate legal procedures to make the adoption possible. Here are some important things to note about three common types of adoption to help you prepare for your adoption process:

Wisconsin Step-Parent Adoptions

If you have married someone who already has children, you may be able to proceed with a step-parent adoption to become their legal guardian. This is only possible if the children’s other biological parent is deceased or has had his or her parental rights terminated. During the process of a step-parent adoption, you may need to obtain consent to the termination of rights from the other parent, or you may need to demonstrate to the court that the other parent is unfit. You will then typically need to file a petition for adoption, submit to an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF), and attend a court hearing where the judge will rule on the adoption.

Wisconsin Relative Adoptions

In a relative adoption, a child’s biological parents agree to place him or her for adoption with a family member, such as a grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, or other relative. In this case, both biological parents must have their parental rights terminated, either willingly or through a court order. Then, the relative who is adopting the children must follow the same procedures required for a step-parent adoption.

Co-Parent Adoptions for LGBTQ Couples in Wisconsin

If you are in a same-sex or LGBTQ marriage or relationship, and the two of you decide together to conceive a child through a method in which one of you is the biological parent, such as using a surrogate or a sperm donor, the non-biological parent may be presumed to have parental rights upon the child’s birth, just as a heterosexual man would be presumed to be the father of a child to whom his wife gives birth. However, to prevent your rights from being challenged, it may be beneficial for the non-biological parent to pursue a legal adoption, which would proceed similarly to a step-parent adoption. Same-sex couples in which one partner already has children also have the same rights to step-parent adoption as opposite-sex couples.

Contact a Milwaukee Adoption Attorney

The attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP assist clients with all kinds of adoptions in Wisconsin, and we will work with you to help your adoption proceed smoothly and to solidify your parental rights. Contact a Waukesha County family law attorney today at 414-271-1440 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/adoption/become

https://www.aclu-wi.org/en/news/marriage-and-parenting-same-sex-couples-wisconsin

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