Step-Child Adoption in MontanaMarybeth Sampsel
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, step-parent/step-child adoption is the most common type of adoption in the United States. Step-child adoption procedures can vary greatly from state to state, but Montana law allows a person to adopt their step-child if:
(1) The person is married to one of the legal parents of the child;
(2) The child has lived with the person and his/her spouse during the past 60 days;
(3) If the child is over the age of 12, the child states in writing that he or she would like to be adopted; and
(4) The other parent of the child agrees in writing to give up his or her parenting rights, or that parent’s rights have been terminated.
Depending on your circumstances, there may be additional considerations. For example, if your spouse’s child has been living with you for at least 12 months and your spouse dies or becomes mentally incompetent, you may also be able to adopt your step-child.
As long as the child’s other parent is agreeable and willing to sign a consent to your adoption and relinquishment, the step-child adoption process can be straightforward and fairly quick. If the other parent is not agreeable, step-parent adoptions can become incredibly complicated and can require termination of the other parent’s rights before the adoption can be completed.