Adopting a Step-child in New Jersey

Step-parent Adoption in New Jersey

When a parent remarries and has a child from a previous relationship, the new spouse becomes the child’s step-parent. In some instances, a step-parent may consider adopting the child. In New Jersey, a step-parent may file to adopt his or her step-child, so long as the step-parent is legally married to that child’s biological parent.

Does a Step-parent Adoption Require Consent?

Although a step-parent may have the opportunity to adopt his or her step-child, the parental rights of the biological parents are usually considered first and foremost. Since adoption results in at least one biological parent terminating his or her rights, the parents usually must consent to the adoption. If the child to be adopted is over the age of 12, the child may also be required to consent to the adoption.

What are Some Reasons for Step-Parent Adoption?

Step-parent adoption is not an easy decision. It does, after all, require that the child’s actual parent relinquish his or her rights. This can be devastating to the child, even though the end result may be in the child’s best interest. Some instances where a biological parent and a step-parent may find themselves considering step-parent adoption are:

  • If the child was abandoned by a biological parent;
  • If the biological parent has not provided any financial support to the child;
  • The biological parent has not remained in contact with the child;
  • The child was abused or neglected by the biological parent; or
  • The biological father is unknown to the child’s mother.

If you have questions about obtaining custody of your child, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney who can assess your situation and help you protect the future of your family.

Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.