There are many cases in which adopting a stepchild is a wonderful thing to do. The other parent may not be involved, but you may have taken over the parental role in all but name. By making it official, you give the child more stability and show that you are committed to them.
That said, adopting a stepchild is not the same as adopting a child that has been specifically put up for adoption. Below are a few things that you need to know about this process.
You may need consent from the other parent
First and foremost, depending on the situation, you may have to get the consent of the other biological parent. The person that you are married to will also consent, of course, and you may need the child’s consent, as well. But the biggest hurdle can be if the other parent doesn’t want to give up their rights.
They would lose all rights
The reason that people are sometimes against this is because the parent who consents to give up their rights does lose all legal ability to be involved in child’s life. They can certainly still stay involved if the child agrees to it and if you and your partner do, but their official right to that involvement has been taken away.
They also don’t have to pay child support
Another thing to consider is that the individual may have been paying child support prior to this. If they give up their rights, they also get to give up their obligation to pay support. This can change the financial situation for you and your partner.
They can object for 15 days
Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are certain deadlines. Even if the other parent objects to the adoption, for instance, they only have 15 days to make that official objection. If they ignore it and do not take this action, then they may lose their ability to object, even if they never want to provide their consent.
Working through the process
You’re very excited about expanding your family and bringing this child into your life in a new way. But you can see how complicated the process can be. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take.