In this day of age, people are more likely to be a part of a blended family. And what I mean by this is that it is not uncommon in the least for kids today to be raised within a family where one of your parents married someone who already had children, and now they are trying to make things work as one big happy household.
It doesn’t have to be necessary that they joined in marriage. More and more folks are partnering up in the most literal sense, and the aftermath is that there are children involved.
Which begs the next question: can your stepfather adopt you?
Adopting a stepchild is the most common form of adoption. A stepparent who agrees to become the legal parent is fully responsible for his or her spouse’s child. And, according to US law, your family may not need to be represented by a lawyer throughout the process. However, every state is different in its criteria for adoption. That said, they do share some similarities. For example, potential stepfathers must pass a criminal background check and an adequate means to financially support the children.
This is excellent news for those who wish to adopt, but it’s always a good idea to dig deeper within the topic and see if there are underlying issues that can either suspend the process or propel it to move forward.
Why Adopt A Step Child Anyway?
There are many reasons why a stepfather would want to adopt their stepchild.
For instance, often a strong bond may be formed between both the stepfather and his stepchild, and subsequently, it only makes sense to solidify the mutual feeling in the eyes of the courts.
What I find is when this relationship flourishes, the adoption process solidifies their feelings and makes it genuinely official on a much deeper level – spiritual, emotional, and other similar factors.
Other factors to consider are that the stepfather may adopt his stepchild to win over their mother. Although devious, this approach often seals the deal, so to speak.
A final factor to consider is that there may be some financial incentive to the whole adoption process too.
In some states and provinces throughout the world, having an adopted child means you may be eligible for things such as child tax credits and lower personal income tax.
Here’s What The Process Looks Like:
Most states or provinces in North America and throughout the developed world have a modernized the adoption process.
Some states, however, will not support a stepparent adoption unless the custodial parent has been married to the stepparent for at least one year, preferably three or more.
This process should not discourage you. After all, when considering adoption cases between stepchildren, child services want to ensure that the child will be properly cared for in a stable and secure environment.
If this were not the case, you would have more instances where the stepfather may abandon all obligations due to incompatibility issues between him and the child’s mother.
Consent is also essential, insomuch that the noncustodial parent abolishes all parental rights and duties (including child support if applicable).
If the noncustodial parent protests to the suggested adoption and refuses to consent to it, state laws may prevent it from proceeding.
Contact Family Services Or The Courts:
In some states and provinces, adoptions are typically handled in juvenile court or the family or family services – Surrogacy Court or Family Court also handles adoptions.
Courts have an information packet, which will be mailed to you, or you can visit them in person and ask for an informational packet along with the necessary papers to get the process rolling.
Obtain Necessary Legal Forms:
If you opt-out of going through the courts to obtain the necessary paperwork, some states or provinces have assigned certain publishing partnerships to sell legal forms for court procedures to the general public. A paralegal or attorney can take care of this, and if you’re like me, I want to avoid all the complications that come with trying to engage in this process by yourself.
Wait Patiently For A Hearing Date:
After submitting the required paperwork, a hearing date will be appointed in consultation with the judge, and subsequently notified of the specific date for a hearing – usually by mail.
Appear At The Hearing:
The reason for a Court hearing is to allow the judge to question the parties involved and interview them to see if adoption is what’s best for the parties involved.
More importantly, however, the purpose of the hearing is to examine closer if this is what’s best for the child.
Subsequently, if approved, the judge will set a date for the finalization of the adoption, and depending on where you live, you may be required to attend another hearing before the judge just to conclude things.
Finalize The Adoption:
Once approved, adoption certificates are subsequently issued. This, of course, is a cause for celebration!
I understand the process may appear to e lengthy, but in the eyes of the law, they are simply being cautious. After all, mismatching a child with the wrong dad could have disastrous consequences.
Hopefully, this answers the question can your stepfather could adopt you, and I assume that by outlining what the particulate steps are necessary to make this a reality you have a much better picture of how this whole process works.
If you are reading this and you have the hopes of having your stepfather adopt you, I am confident if you follow this step-by-step blueprint you should have very little issues.
A word to the wise: if you are the one looking to adopt please make sure you have a stable income, you have been residing at the same address for a period of more than a few years (if possible). It’s also a great idea to also belong to some sort of league of volunteer clubs as this presents you in a very positive light.