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The ins and outs of stepparent adoption in Michigan

There are a number of reasons that your spouse may want to adopt your child in Michigan. For example, they may have a close parent-child bond, your spouse may demonstrate a willingness to take on the responsibilities permanently, or it may be helpful so that financial benefits such as an inheritance or life insurance can be established. Regardless of the reasons, we at The Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., have a thorough understanding of the process, and often provide legal assistance in following through with the plan.

According to Michigan Legal Help, your child’s other parent must give up parental rights, or have them terminated by the court, before your spouse can proceed with stepparent adoption. A couple of factors come into play if the other parent does not want to give up these rights. Your spouse will have to provide evidence that the other parent could have had a relationship with the child, but did not contact him or her, or visit, during the previous two years. It must also be established that the other parent could have paid child support during those two years, but did not.

Once the adoption process is complete, your spouse is the legal parent, and the biological parent has no more rights or responsibilities toward your child. If you were to divorce, your spouse would not lose any of these rights and responsibilities, so you would need to create a parenting plan that allows your child to maintain the parenting bond with each of you. More information about parental rights is available on our web page.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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