Begin a stepparent adoption request

You begin the process of adopting a stepchild by filling out several court forms and attaching relevant documentation. 

Before you start

There are certain steps you must take in order to adopt a stepchild. Be sure that you have taken the exact steps for your situation. One of the following will be required for the stepparent adoption to proceed:

You can get free assistance with this process from your court’s Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center.  

By preparing ahead of time and completing these requirements the adoption process with the court will be faster and easier.

While the court does not require one of these steps before you file an adoption request, you will eventually be required to provide proof that you have completed one of the above processes to the court.

How to prepare a stepparent adoption request

  • Complete and sign forms

    Complete and sign this form: Adoption Request (ADOPT-200)

    Some of the items on this form relate to agency adoptions or other types of adoptions. Complete the sections that are relevant to you.

    In section 12, you can choose to have the court appoint an investigator, or you can pay for one yourself. Learn more about stepparent adoption investigations.

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    If you have questions about how to fill out the Adoption Request form, contact your court's Self-Help Center.


    Complete and sign these forms related to Native American heritage:

    These forms tell the court if the child has Native American heritage. This form needs to be completed by the child’s birth parent. (Both birth parents, if possible.) 

    If there is reason to believe that the child is eligible to be enrolled with a federally-recognized Native American tribe, then there may be additional steps and different forms involved in the adoption process. 

    Contact your court’s Self-Help Center if the child does or may have Native American heritage. They can help you with the required follow-up steps.
  • Attach copies of related documents

    The documents you attach will depend upon your situation:

    • If you have an Order Terminating Parental Rights, attach it to your request 

    • If you have a Proof of Service of a Notice of Alleged Paternity, attach it to your request 

    • If you do not have an Order Terminating Parental Rights, attach a copy of the filed Petition for Terminating Parental Rights, or a filed Application and Order to Dispense with Further Notice of Adoption Planning 

    Note: If you are submitting a copy of the filed Petition for Terminating Parental Rights, or Petition for FFPCC, you will still need to ask the court to enter an order for these requests. It is best to have completed this step prior to filing your adoption request. 

  • Figure out if you have local forms to complete

    Some courts have additional local forms they require you to use.    

    Contact your court clerk’s office, check your court’s website, or talk to your Family Law Facilitator at your court's Self-Help Center to ask if they have any local forms you need to use. 

  • Make copies of all forms and attachments

    After you’ve completed all of the forms and signed the ones that require signature, make at least 2 copies. 

Stepparent adoption

What's next?

Once you have all of your forms and attached documentation ready, you’ll file these with the court. 

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