Step-Parent Adoption

The step-parent must be married to the birth parent for a minimum of one (1) year before the adoption can be finalized. An attorney is required to file a step-parent adoption.

What is needed for a Step-Parent Adoption:

  • Petitioner must be a Wayne County resident.
  • If the biological parent is deceased, Petitioner must provide the Court with a certified copy of the death certificate.
  • If the father of the person to be adopted ("adoptee") is not on the birth certificate, and paternity has been established, Petitioner must provide the Court with a copy of the DNA results or paternity affidavit, or a court order establishing paternity.
  • If the person to be adopted was born on or after January 1, 1997, and paternity has never been established, Petitioner must provide the final results of the Putative Father Registry JFS 1695.
  • If Petitioner cannot obtain consent, and wants to prove consent is not required from the non-custodial parent, Petitioner must provide a current or last known address for the non-custodial parent listed on the Petition.
  • If the address for the non-custodial parent is unknown, Petitioner must file Form 18.3.1 and a Motion and Order for Publication.
  • A certified copy of the adoptee’s birth certificate (long form/microfilm copy), obtained from the local health department, must accompany the petition. This version of the birth certificate contains the doctor and hospital information.
  • A certified copy of the Petitioner’s Marriage License Abstract/Application (from the Court that issued the license).
  • All parties, including the child, are required to attend the hearing.
  • An adoption assessor will be assigned by the Court to perform a homestudy once all documents are received.

When Filing for a Step-Parent Adoption:

  • All forms must be typed.
  • Use full birth names; no initials.
  • If there is no middle name, use (NMI) in the spaces provided.
  • Make sure all signatures are on all forms.

Filing Fee:

  • The filing fee is $702.00.
  • If you use a credit card, a three percent (3%) convenience charge will be added.
  • If paying by check, make checks payable to the “Wayne County Probate Court.”


The information contained on this web site is not legal advice, nor should it substitute for the assistance of a qualified attorney. Good legal assistance can speed up the court process and prevent costly legal errors.

Get more information on obtaining an attorney.