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Step-Parent Adoption


A step-parent adoption in Pennsylvania can be a fairly simple process, and it can be a wonderful step to take to complete the family unit. When the adoption is completed, the child will have the following benefits:


  • New name is established (if desired)
  • New birth certificate
  • Two legal parents active in the child’s life
  • Ability to inherit from adoptive parent


The child will have a relationship with the adoptive parent that is the same as if the child were born to the step-parent. The child’s new birth certificate will show the child’s new name and will have the adoptive parent and the natural parent listed as the child’s mother and father.


Attorney Sommer or Attorney O’Donnell can answer any legal questions you may have regarding a step-parent adoption.


Who Can Adopt?


  • Step-mother, or
  • Step-father


A step-parent in Pennsylvania can file to adopt his or her step child. The step-parent must be legally married to the child’s parent.


In Pennsylvania, a domestic partnership and same-sex marriages, as well as, Grandparents or other family members may also petition to adopt under the step-parent adoption laws.


Parental Rights?


Both the biological father and the biological mother have parental rights to the child. In every adoption, the absent or consenting parent(s) parental rights will have to be terminated.


Some of the common grounds for termination of parental rights are:


  • Abandonment of the child
  • Incompetency and/or Neglect of the child
  • Lack of financial suppor
  • Sustained lack of contact
  • Incarceration of a biological parentPutative or presumptive father is not the bio-father


Child’s Consent


In Pennsylvania, if the child is over 12 years of age, the child will be required to sign consent to the adoption.

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