Many discussions about stepparent adoption focus on the benefits that kids derive from this. While that’s undoubtedly important to discuss, stepparents also benefit from becoming legal parents to their stepchildren.
Your knowledge of this information may aid you in determining whether this is the next step you want to take in building your family.
How do children end up being available for adoption by their stepparents?
The mother may be unclear about their child’s paternity, or the biological father may never establish their paternity. This makes it possible for their stepparent to adopt them.
Parents may have their parental rights terminated due to incarceration, neglect or abuse or upon their death. They may also voluntarily give them up, leaving a stepchild available for their adoption by their stepparent as well.
What benefits are associated with stepparent adoptions?
One primary reason stepparents adopt their stepchildren is to gain the same legal rights as a biological parent would typically have. That includes the right to consent to medical care and to make educational and religious decisions on your stepchild’s behalf once you adopt them. You can also add them to your insurance plan.
Another benefit of adopting your stepchild is that it entitles you to become their legal guardian if something happened to your husband or wife. They may end up with your spouse’s biological family (that they may not know all that well) unless you adopt them.
A third benefit of adopting your stepchild is that they gain the right to receive your inheritance just as any biological kids would if you were to die without a will.
Moving forward in the stepparent adoption process
While some stepparents appreciate the benefits that come with adopting their stepchild, you assume a lot of responsibilities by doing so as well. An attorney can go over what those are so that you can make an informed choice about whether the adoption of your stepchild this is the right option for you.