The Stepparent Adoption packet provides instructions, information and the forms needed to complete the stepparent/domestic partner adoption.
Complete and file the following forms with the Family Law and Adoptions Division.
Adoption Request (ADOPT-200)
Parental Notification of Indian Status (IWCA-020)
Indian Child Inquiry Attachment (ICWA-010(A))
If applicable, a Notice of Child Custody Proceedings for Indian Child (ICWA-030)
File the ADOPT-200.
Once the Adoption Request form has been completed, it must be filed in the Family Law and Adoptions Division of the Clerk’s office. The filing fee for an adoption is $20.00 per child.
If a parent of the child refuses to sign a consent to the adoption or cannot be located or identified, you may need to file a petition to terminate parental rights or a petition to declare minor free from parental custody and control prior to moving forward. See below for additional information.
Staff in the Court Investigator’s Office will collect all of the appropriate documents and information needed from you to conduct an investigation and prepare a report. A $500 Court Investigation fee will be collected prior to the start of the investigation.
Obtain Hearing Date.
Once you are in receipt of the Court Investigator’s Report, contact the Family Law and Adoption clerk’s office to arrange for a court date for the adoption. At the hearing, the judge will either grant or deny the request.
Petition to Terminate Parental Rights/Declare Minor Free from Custody and Control
Complete and file the following forms with the Family Law and Adoption Division Clerk’s Office:
Petition to Terminate Parental Rights/Declare Minor Free
Citation to Parent whose rights are being terminated
Contact the Court Investigator’s Office. A $200 Court Investigation fee will be collected prior to the start of the investigation. An additional $200 fee may be required if the petition is contested. Staff in the Court Investigator’s Office will collect all of the appropriate documents and information needed to conduct an investigation and prepare a report.
Serve the petition and citation on those persons entitled to notice.
If the judge determines that the parent’s rights should not be terminated, the adoption petition should be dismissed. If the judge determines that the parent’s rights should be terminated, please continue with the adoption process once an order terminating parental rights or declaring minor free has been signed and filed.
For further information regarding this process, please contact an attorney.
Home Study Evaluation
The fee for the Court Investigator’s home study/report is $500.00 for uncontested and $600.00 for contested. The Court Investigators will not begin their home study until the fees are paid in full. After the fees have been paid and the home study evaluation is complete, contact the clerk’s office to arrange for a court date for the adoption. At the hearing, the judge will either grant or deny the adoption request.
The Court requires that the petitioner and child to be adopted to attend the adoption hearing. Please bring all of your paperwork to the court hearing. In addition, please have the following documents ready for the judge’s signature:
Adoption Agreement (ADOPT-210), to be signed in the presence of the judge. If the child is 12 years or older, the child must also sign the agreement in the judge’s presence.
Adoption Order (ADOPT-215) with the name the child will now use inserted where indicated.
The signing of the adoption order is usually a memorable occasion for the participants. Most Judges will not object if you wish to take photographs, but please ask in advance.
Issuing A New Birth Certificate
Once the adoption has been approved and the Adoption Order has been signed, the Clerk of the Court shall prepare and submit a Court Report of Adoption (VS44) to the Office of the State Registrar. The State Registrar will mail a certified copy of the new birth certificate to the petitioner.
For further information concerning adoption proceedings, please contact an attorney.