Becoming a stepparent is a major stride for you and your family. Deciding to adopt your stepchildren is an even bigger step. Adoption comes with greater responsibilities over your stepchildren and more parental rights. Deciding whether stepparent adoption is the right move for you may take a bit of research into why stepparents adopt. Thousands of families have changed their lives for the better by choosing stepparent adoption in California.
Easing the Transition
Blending your family can come with ups and downs – especially in the beginning when everyone is still getting used to each other. Opting for stepparent adoption may help ease the transition for everyone in your new blended family. You are already an important part of your stepchildren’s lives. Making it official with stepparent adoption can help the whole family move forward as one. It can clarify your role within the family and let stepchildren know you will be around for the long haul.
Improving Emotional Stability
A lot of stepparents choose to adopt their stepchildren for emotional reasons rather than legalities alone. While stepparent adoption will lead to important legal changes, it can also provide the emotional stability your stepchildren may need at a difficult or turbulent time. Choosing adoption can show your stepchildren you are ready to embrace them as your children in every sense of the word.
Adoption can demonstrate to stepchildren that the blended family is now the new normal and that you do not plan on going anywhere. Your stepchildren may have already gone through a tough time with a divorce and/or custody battle. Your new marriage may be the first step toward healing a broken family. Adoption can finalize the transition and help stepchildren feel safe and secure. Just make sure everyone involved is emotionally and psychologically ready before making this change.
Obtaining Parental Rights
One of the key reasons to undergo the process of stepparent adoption is to gain more legal rights over your stepchildren. If you want the legal right to make important decisions for your stepchildren, such as about education or health care, adoption may be the right move for you. You will be accepting legal responsibility for your stepchildren, along with greater rights as a parent. As an adoptive parent, you could enjoy benefits such as retaining custody rights if your spouse were to pass away.
Adoption can also make it easier for you to communicate with important people in your stepchildren’s lives. Taking over responsibilities at school, church and doctor’s offices can be more difficult if you are only the stepparent on paper. As an adoptive parent, however, school administrators and physicians will treat you like any other parent. Adoption can make it easier to communicate with officials by formalizing your relationship with stepchildren.
Helping Children Move Forward
Many stepparent adoptions sever a birth parent’s rights. This could be the right move if the birth parent is toxic for the children. Severing this relationship could be positive for the kids if it has been a negative influence in their lives. Making the adoption official could relieve a burden of stress, guilt or anxiety your stepchildren may have relating to their birth parent. Severing ties could allow the children to fully embrace you as a parent without feeling guilty about “abandoning” the other parent.
You will need the birth parent’s consent and signature on a waiver of rights to formally adopt your stepchildren. This process can demonstrate to the kids that the birth parent agrees with the arrangement – relieving them of any lingering guilt they may feel about embracing the blended family. Working with a lawyer could help if the birth parent is reluctant to cooperate in the adoption. A lawyer could help you go through with the adoption even without the other parent’s consent, through arguments such as child abandonment or unfit parent. A step parent adoption attorney can also help you confirm that stepparent adoption is the right move for your family.