Can a stepparent get custody of a stepchild, if the biological/adoptive parent’s parental rights are terminated?

Question: If a child’s parents were to lose custody of him, and the only family member left was the stepparent’s family (not legally related), would the stepparent(s) get the child?

Answer: Not as a matter of right. They could try to get custody by petitioning the court for an award of custody, but stepparents have no inherent rights to custody of their stepchildren. They have to go to court to obtain an order of custody to obtain custody of stepchildren.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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