Obtain and complete the correct forms to petition for the adoption of the stepson from the local courthouse or the court's website. The form asks for information about the stepparent and the child to be adopted. The stepparent must also provide personal information regarding employment history, military experience and other children. Submit the petition to the court according to the instructions on the form.
Both biological parents must give consent for the adoption to take place. If consent is not given voluntarily, parental rights may be involuntarily removed, allowing the adoption to proceed. Involuntary termination of parental rights may be granted in cases of abandonment, abuse, mental illness, and use of drugs or alcohol. Depending on the age of the child, he may also have to give consent for the adoption to be approved in some states.
Parties are often required to take parenting classes. Some states waive this requirement for stepparent adoptions, while others do not. If a home study is required, a court-appointed evaluator or social worker often reviews the stepparent's background information, including personal and work history, references, and financial and medical records. The evaluator then meets with the stepparent three or more times to view the home and environment.