Jump To Navigation

Adoption in Wisconsin

Law firm serving Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and surrounding communities

Adoption is the legal process that allows a child not born to you to become your legal child. Wisconsin’s Children’s Code creates the legal framework for adoptions in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and neighboring communities. Wisconsin permits several types of adoption:

  • Foreign adoptions
  • Step-parent adoptions
  • Relative adoptions

Although adoption for a Racine or Milwaukee couple may seem like a private family affair, it is in fact a complex legal process. Almost every Wisconsin child adoption stands to benefit from the assistance and experience of an accomplished Wisconsin adoption lawyer. For your own research purposes, the Wisconsin State Law Library offers a compilation of relevant statutes and regulations.

Who may adopt in Wisconsin?

  • Step-parents may adopt their spouses’ children.
  • In Kenosha adoptions involving a gay or lesbian couple, one partner may adopt the child while the other becomes a legal guardian.
  • Single people may adopt.
  • Married couples may adopt.

Who may be adopted in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin allows Milwaukee child adoptions of:

  • Children whose two parents are deceased
  • Children whose parents have given up their parental rights or had them terminated
  • Children who live with one parent and a step-parent and whose absent parent is deceased or has given up his parental rights

Steps toward adoption in Kenosha

You, and your partner or spouse, must make the decision and private commitment to adopt on your own, preferably after researching the process and speaking with other adoptive parents. Once you have reached that decision, your first step—whether contacting an adoption agency, fostering a child, or making an agreement with a pregnant woman unable to raise her own child—depends on which sort of Milwaukee adoption you decide to pursue.

However, all Racine adoptions have the following legal steps in common:

  • All adopters must undergo a home study to ensure they are fit and able to raise a child.
  • In Milwaukee adoptions, prospective adoptive parents must give notice to anyone required to consent to the adoption.
  • Prospective adoptive parents must file an adoption petition with the court.
  • Finally, the court must hold a hearing determining that the adoption is in the child’s best interest and granting the petition.

Work with veteran Wisconsin adoption attorneys to ease the process

Stephen Hayes and Elizabeth Neary of Grady, Hayes & Neary, LLC have decades of experience helping families at every juncture of the adoption process. Contact them for an introductory adoption conference and an evaluation of your legal situation to make the Wisconsin adoption process as simple and speedy as possible.



Grady, Hayes & Neary, LLC
N14W23777 Stone Ridge Drive Suite 200
Waukesha, WI 53188
Phone Number:(262) 347-2001