Step Parenting - 10 Legal Procedures To Follow While Adopting A Step Child

step arenting

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Parenting is an experience in itself. It is one of the most difficult and responsible tasks that, as an adult, you would ever assume in life. But there is something even more difficult than parenting. Surprised? Don’t be. We’re talking about step parenting.

Step parenting can be a daunting, yet fulfilling experience. To make this experience even better, it is recommended to adopt your step child. This can be a great way of protecting your kids. It helps the family become one legal unit too. This post intends to throw some light on step parenting-related issues like, adoption, rights and advice.

Step Parenting:

Step parenting means parenting your spouse’s or partner’s children. When you decide to marry someone who has kids already, it is known as step parenting. It is an excellent way of bringing families together and starting a new life.

Step Parent Adoption – Why Adopt Your Step Child?

Stepparent adoption is a legal process.

  • This helps you become the permanent adoptiv
    e parent of your spouse’s children.
  • It is a great way of protecting your step child’s future in many ways.
  • When you decide to legally adopt your partner’s child, you become fully responsible for the same.

Once the adoption takes place, the biological parent or the noncustodial parent does not have any rights or responsibilities for the child. The family is then recognized as one legal unit. The entire family adopts a common surname and the child’s inheritance is also safeguarded.

[ Read: Parenting Problems ]

How To Adopt Your Step Child?

Countries across the globe have varied rules and regulations. However, here is a general procedure to be followed for legally adopting your step child:

1. Before going ahead with the adoption, consult your partner and decide if you finally want to blend families.

2. Once decided, consult an adoption attorney in your city.

3. Find out about the adoption laws.

4. You must have consent of both birth parents before filing a request.

5. Get in touch with the concerned court that is responsible for adoptions in your country or state.

6. Figure out all the legal formalities. Gather and submit all required documents.

7. Await a notification for the court date for legal procedure to begin.

8. Then comes the hearing date when the judge of the concerned court hears all the parties involved in adoption.

9. After the legal hearing, the status of adoption is finalized.

10. As soon as the adoption is finalized, birth certificates are amended and issued.

[ Read: Baby Adoption ]

Counseling The Adopted Child:

Once you have decided to adopt your step child, it is important for the child to be counseled properly, before the adoption process actually takes place. For a child, it is difficult to cope up and accept the fact that the birth father or mother would no longer be the same.

  • A counselor is appointed for the child.
  • The same counselor will ask for the child’s opinion on the proposed adoption. The child’s views matter a lot in adoption procedure.
  • Even adults do not adjust well with new blended families. So children are bound to have problems. Counseling helps prepare the child for what is about to happen.
  • Children are also often found to be in dilemma when it comes to adoption. Counseling also helps the child understand adoption and its implications better.

Ensure you choose a good counselor. Improper counseling may lead to problems later.

Applicant’s Assessment:

The applicant’s assessment is crucially important.

  • This helps the court determine whether the applicant is seriously capable of becoming a legal step parent or not.
  • A thorough back ground check is also done to ensure safety of the families involved.

Rights Involved:

rights involved

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Step parents generally don’t have any right over their step children, unless they go through a legal custody proceeding.

  • Once legally adopted, as the step parent you will have the right to be your child’s guardian all your life.
  • The biological parent does not have any right over the child after the adoption. Your step child’s relations with the biological parent cease completely.
  • Your adopted child has equal rights over your possessions as your birth child.
  • It gives a sense of social and mental security to the family.
  • Your children belong to one same family and it gives them a sense of belongingness and helps them bond better.

Step parenting is one of the most difficult tasks. It puts a lot of responsibilities on you as a caregiver. But once you decide to go ahead, it can only feel better. After all, blending families too can be fun. Nothing can beat the feeling of being responsible for your little ones and it is a great way of showing your love.

We would love to hear about your experience in step parenting. Did you ever come across something like this, or have you already been through the step parent adoption process? Do let us know!

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