Stepparent Adoption in New York | What to Know

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Today, many couples choose to get divorced. In a lot of cases, these couples have children together. When parents choose to remarry, they introduce stepparents into the mix. The relationship between a child and a stepparent is important and can be wonderful. In some cases, a stepparent will want to adopt hir or her stepchild. This adoption process can be difficult to achieve. If you are considering adopting your stepchild, you will need the help of a skilled family law attorney. Read on for more information regarding the process of stepparent adoptions in New York.

What are the Requirements in New York?

Stepparent adoption is difficult because stepparents have few to no rights when it comes to their stepchildren. If they wish to adopt their stepchild, stepparents will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Both biological/ legal parents of the child must consent to the adoption unless the court finds that the other parent’s consent is not legally required. This will depend on many factors, such as whether the non-custodial parent is named on the child’s birth certificate and the extent to which he or she has taken physical, emotional and financial responsibility for the child. For the most part, a New York court will only terminate parental rights if evidence of neglect or abuse is found.
  • A child over 14 years old must consent to the stepparent adoption and be present at the adoption hearing.

What is the Process of Stepparent Adoption in New York?

If the above requirements are met and you are able to adopt your stepchild, you will have to go through an adoption process. You will want to retain the help of a family law attorney for this. The adoption process will involve a background check. You will need to be fingerprinted and cleared through the Division of Child Protection and Permanency. Additionally, there will be an adoption hearing. When the adoption is complete, the law views the stepparent as the biological and legal parent of the stepchild, with the same parental rights and obligations of any biological parent.

If you or a loved one is interested in stepparent adoption in New York, contact our firm to discuss. We are here to walk you through all of your family law matters and act as your advocate. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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