Title 15A: Adoption Act
Article 4: ADOPTION OF MINOR STEPCHILD BY STEPPARENT
15A V.S.A. § 4-101. Standing to adopt minor stepchild
§ 4-101. Standing to adopt minor stepchild
(a) A stepparent has standing under this article to petition to adopt a minor stepchild who is the child of the stepparent's spouse if:
(1) the spouse has sole legal and physical custody of the child and the child has been in the physical custody of the spouse and the stepparent during the six months prior to the filing of a petition for adoption;
(2) the spouse has joint legal custody of the child with the child's other parent and the child has resided primarily with the spouse and the stepparent during the 12 months next preceding the filing of the petition;
(3) the spouse is deceased or mentally incompetent, but before dying or being judicially declared mentally incompetent, had legal and physical custody of the child, and the child has resided primarily with the stepparent during the 12 months prior to the filing of the petition; or
(4) an agency placed the child with the stepparent pursuant to section 2-103 of this title.
(b) For good cause shown, a court may allow a person who does not meet the requirements of subdivisions (a)(1) through (4) of this section, but has the consent of the custodial parent of a minor to file a petition for adoption under this article. A petition allowed under this subsection shall be treated as if the petitioner were a stepparent.
(c) A petition for adoption by a stepparent may be joined with a petition under Article 3, Part 5 of this title, to terminate the relationship of parent and child between a minor adoptee and the adoptee's parent who is not the stepparent's spouse. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)