Appleton/Central Wisconsin
(877) 335-6750


Madison/Milwaukee
(888) 686-0443

​3 Hearts, 2 Journeys, 1 Family


Why do we have to have a homestudy?

Many people who pursue a step-parent adoption have been living together, and parenting the child for a long period of time, wonder why it is necessary to have a homestudy.  The State requires a homestudy to be done on any person pursuing adoption, regardless of the type of adoption.  Our social worker will meet with you, your spouse, and the child at least one time in your home.  This meeting, and the required clearances and references along with the application, will be needed to complete the homestudy.

How will this affect the child’s other biological parent?
A step-parent adoption requires that one of the biological parents relinquish their parental rights to the child.  This is done legally at a Termination of Parental Rights hearing.  At the completion of this hearing, the parent no longer holds any legal rights or responsibilities to that child.  This means that they are no longer responsible for child support and they no longer have a legal right to see or visit the child.   Once the parent has relinquished their parental rights, the child is free for adoption, and the Step-parent will be named as legal parent and guardian to the child. This normally takes place at the same hearing.

Why does the child have to know about the adoption?
Adoption Services requires that the child involved with a step-parent adoption openly knows about the adoption.  We feel that this honesty is in the best interest of the child and the family’s future.  We understand that there are many circumstances that play into how this adoption came about, but we still feel it is best for a child to realize where their roots lie, and how their family has come to be.


You would like to be the legal parent to your spouse's child or relatives (defined below) child. 

> Couples must be married a minimum of one year.

> Couples/individuals must be of an age range acceptable to birthparents.

> Couples/individuals must be in reasonable good health.  Individuals with past remissions from cancer or if they have received alcohol and/or drug therapy will be assessed on a case by case basis.

> Couples/individuals will have an income adequate to provide for the financial needs of a child. 

> Couples/individuals understand and will notify the agency immediately if they become pregnant.

> Couples/individuals understand a second adoption cannot be attempted until the adoption of the first child is finalized and the child is at least one year of age.

> Single individuals and married partners may apply with the agency.

> Criteria limits may be adjusted in the case of children with special needs.

> Couples/individuals will agree not to use spanking, or any form of corporal punishment, as a form of discipline.

Step-Parent and Relative Adoptions

Agency Requirements for Step-Parent and Relative Adoption Programs

​Relative is defined by the State of Wisconsin as :under s. 48.02(15) included: a parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, first cousin, 2nd cousin, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, step-uncle, step-aunt, or any person of a preceding generation as denoted by the prefix of grand, great, or great-great, whether by blood, marriage, or legal adoption, or the spouse of any person named in this subsection, even if the marriage is terminated by death or divorce. Wis. Stat. § 48.02(15).

This type of adoption can cost between $2,000 - $4,000 in agency fees.

 Adoption Services can provide the adoptive homestudy and court reports. 

As an agency we have certain requirements for perspective adoptive families looking to work with us on an adoption. 

Although they are not always mandated by the state, they are based on years of experience and interwoven into our agency mission, that every child deserves a permanent family.

This requires relinquishment of the parental rights by the other biological parent, so the child is free for adoption.