Stepparent adoption is a way to provide the best possible outcome for children who have lost one parent and are looking for stability in their lives. Unfortunately, this arrangement is not always straightforward. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering this type of adoption.
What is stepparent adoption?
Stepparent adoption is an option for someone who is not able to adopt their stepchild through direct adoption but wants to take legal responsibility as the parent of a child. The stepparent must be legally married to the biological or adoptive parent and have been living with them for at least two years. This type of adoption is not the same as adoption by a partner.
What’s the difference between adoption and stepparent adoption?
Adoption is when a person legally becomes the child of someone who is not his or her biological parent. Stepparent adoption occurs for adopted children to have their stepparent take responsibility as the legal guardian after one of their parents dies, leaves or loses parental rights.
It can get complicated
Stepparent adoption can become complicated if someone has remarried after divorcing their child’s other birth parent, especially when one of them wants to remove their spouse from being able to have custody rights over the children. This type of adoption requires more legal documentation than direct adoption. Additionally, a stepparent adoption can be difficult to establish if the child’s other birth parent has been absent for an extended period of time or is otherwise not active in their life.
How is stepparent adoption beneficial?
Stepparent adoption is beneficial because the child will have the same rights as a biological child of their parent. This includes inheritance and insurance benefits.
Adoption has become a highly favorable and accepted option for stepchildren who need stability in their lives. Although adoption is not the only way to ensure your child’s well-being, it can be an excellent choice for you and your family.