A parent and a step-parent can petition the Court to adopt a child. In order for an adoption to occur, the parental rights of the biological parent must be terminated. A biological parent can sign a Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment terminating their parental rights, however, if a parent is unwilling to relinquish their parental rights, termination of parental rights can get complicated.
Sometimes, a child may be living with family members or with a foster parent. When a family member is raising a child, they may want to adopt to provide permanency for a child. When the child is in foster care, the foster parents may want to adopt after parental rights have been terminated.
Adult adoptions happen often. In circumstances where a child was not able to be adopted while under the age of 18, an adoption can occur once that person is an adult. In many cases, an adult adoption occurs by a stepparent, a relative or a non-relative who has been caring for the child.
Through adoption, the adoptee can change their name and obtain a new birth certificate, formalizing the relationship between the adoptee and the adoptive parent.