Adopting your step-children gives you the ability to participate in their important life decisions. However, the most rewarding aspect may be that formalizing your relationship can provide children an unbreakable bond and give them a sense of security and family.
Though adoption is not possible in every case, there are circumstances under which it can happen easily. However, the ability to proceed requires termination of the other biological parent’s rights, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and they may put up a fight.
If your spouse’s ex is no longer living, the adoption process can be straightforward. An attorney can file the appropriate documentation for a judge’s signature and guide you through the rest of the process.
Voluntary termination of rights
Sometimes, a biological parent will voluntarily give up their parental rights. One reason for this might be their inability or unwillingness to continue making child support payments. Another may be that the parent knows they aren’t a healthy influence on their children and wants what is best for them, which could mean allowing the adoption.
If a child is being abused, neglected or endangered while in the custody of your spouse’s ex, for example, the court has the right to terminate their parental rights involuntarily. The process begins by petitioning the court and stating the grounds for termination.
A child benefits from having two loving, supportive parents who ensure their best interests are being met. As a step-parent, your desire to adopt that child speaks volumes about the depth of your commitment.