Demographics, the quantifiable stats of any particular population, have shown that an increasingly high percentage of blended families’ fill the spaces in many areas wherein people work and live. A blended family, or stepfamily, is one where one parent has children which are not genetically connected to the other parent.
Many of these families exist happily in a state of compromise, providing each child with two sets of names, the possibility to visit, or even live with the other biological parent for an agreed period of time.
However, some parents in a blended family want to have their children become more connected in what appears as more of a whole family, sharing one particular set of parents.
In order to accomplish this, a stepparent must be aware of all the steps and information involved in the process of adopting their stepchild. There is the legal process to consider but also the emotional process, both need to be considered since a stepparent adoption requires termination of the biological parent’s rights.
So how do you prepare mentally for a stepparent adoption?
Preparing For The Adoption Process
When it comes to adoption, there are more than just the legal proceedings to consider.
At the end of any adoption procedure, the aim should be to provide a more comfortable family life for the child in question. The first thing you will need to do is discuss the idea of adopting the stepchild with your spouse or partner, so that you can be sure you both agree that this is the correct course of action. Remember that his or her feelings should be given a great deal of weight, as you cannot make this decision without their approval.
Next, get yourself completely up to date on the laws in San Diego regarding stepchild adoption.
It is typically a prudent idea to seek a legal consultation in this matter so that you can be sure you have all the information you need. You may need to find out what action to take if the father is not listed on the birth certificate, or how to broach the subject of having the other biological parent’s rights terminated.
Consider Your Stepchild in the Decision
When you are considering adopting your stepchild, you need to make sure you take the time to think about how old the child is, and how close they currently are to the biological parent you are attempting to replace. The best way to go about this is to speak with the child to see how they feel about the possibility of adoption.
There are several ways in which particular factors can have an effect upon your stepchild’s reaction to the idea of adoption. Often, younger children who do not know the parent well enough yet, have lost a parent to death or never knew the parent to begin with, will be often be comfortable with the concept, since they have never identified anyone but you in your parental role.
The child’s age is a major factor and the role of the biological parent will ultimately determine the level of conversation needed.
Older children, on the other hand, who had a relationship with their biological parent, could find that old emotions still linger. The parents need to think about whether adoption is worth doing taking into consideration the child’s feelings, this may include a great deal of thought and conversation between the two of you.
Before the process, determine whether your stepchild may benefit from an introduction to some counseling, since a child who remembers the previous parent may feel some issues of abandonment, regardless of whether that parent was good, or not.
•••Minella Law Group Can Help•••
If you are a stepparent or a parent and need help with your stepparent adoption Minella Law Group can help guide you and assist you thought the legal process. For more information or to schedule call us at (619) 289-7948. We look forward to helping you.
*this article h as been updated for 2024