What are my sisters rights if her husband wants to take a friend’s son in to live with them and possibly adopt but she does not?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my sisters rights if her husband wants to take a friend’s son in to live with them and possibly adopt but she does not?

My sister has been married for 17 years and has 2 boys (11/13). Her husband is Chinese and is considering taking his cousin’s 14 year old son to live with them and send him to school here. He has even suggested that they adopt him. She is against it but he is proceeding anyway. Can she refuse to sign legal, medical and adoption papers to mitigate her legal responsibilities? What are her options?

Asked on January 25, 2018 under Family Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Think about it: adoption is a voluntary act to bring someone in to the family.  Can she choose not to sign the paperwork?  Yes, of course she can.  Can he sign alone?  For that answer she should consider consulting with an attorney in her area.  He could absolutely be made the legal guardian of the child but adoption is different.  Good luck.

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