Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Stepparent Adoption

Standing To Adopt Stepchild

42-4-302. Standing to adopt stepchild. (1) A stepparent has standing to file a petition for adoption of a minor child of the stepparent's spouse if:

(a) the spouse has legal and physical custody of the child and the child has been in the physical custody of the spouse and the stepparent during the 60 days preceding the filing of a petition for adoption;

(b) 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 preceding the filing of the petition; or

(c) the department or an agency placed the child with the stepparent.

(2) For good cause shown, a court may allow an individual who is not the stepparent but who has the consent of the custodial parent of a child to file a petition for adoption. The petition must be treated as if the petitioner were a stepparent.

(3) A petition for adoption by a stepparent may be joined with a petition for termination of parental rights.

History: En. Sec. 113, Ch. 480, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 257, L. 1999.