Under Montana law, “adoption" is defined as the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child when it does not exist genetically. Adoption proceedings in the state of Montana focus primarily on the well-being and best interests of the adopted child.

Individuals who may be adopted include a “legally free for adoption” child, stepchild, emancipated child, or in some circumstances, an adult. Types of adoption include direct parental placement, stepparent adoption, and adoption through DPHHS or other licensed agency.

Adoption proceedings pertaining to an Indian child (as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC Ch. 21) are subject to that act.


Adoption law is complicated. The forms listed below do not cover every type of adoption proceeding. The State Law Library can assist with additional information; however, we cannot give legal advice. We recommend contacting a Montana attorney with experience in adoption proceedings. Link to the State Bar of Montana Lawyer Referral Information Service here.

Self-Help Forms with Guidance

Stepparent Adoption Packet (27 pages)

Motion to Appoint Counsel in Adoption Case Packet, by Montana Legal Services Association (14 pages)

Additional Forms

Petition for Step-Parent Adoption

Consent of Mother/Father to Stepparent Adoption

Affidavit of Waiver of All Parental Rights, Relinquishment of Child, and Consent to Adoption

Decree of Stepparent Adoption


Adoption Information and Forms, from

Adoption in Montana, article by Darcy M. Crum (Rebeck & Crum) posted by

Adoption in Montana, from Montana DPHHS Child & Family Services Division

Intercountry Adoption, from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

Parental Rights Termination in Montana, by Montana Legal Services Association