Stepparent adoption: Know what you’re doing

As a stepparent, there may come a point when you think about adopting your spouse's child. While this sounds like a straightforward process, it's important to realize that there are some challenges that could stand in your way.

Above all else, remember this: Adopting a child as a stepparent is not the same as a more traditional adoption. For example, you are not required to partake in a home study.

First things first, a stepparent adoption requires that the noncustodial parent give up his or her legal rights, either by termination or consent. While this may be a hiccup, some people are willing to immediately do so, as it frees them of their parenting obligations, as well as child support.

After the adoption process is complete, the stepparent and child gain access to a variety of benefits:

  • The child has the right to take on the same last name as their parents
  • The child gains equal inheritance rights
  • The child can access Social Security benefits should his or her stepparent pass on
  • You can make legal, educational and medical decisions on behalf of the child

Even though stepparent adoption is easier to tackle than traditional adoption, it doesn't mean you won't run into any roadblocks.

At our law firm, we know the ins and outs of all forms of adoption. With our knowledge and experience, our clients never have to worry about making a poor decision along the way.

Once you know what you're doing in regards to the adoption process, it's much easier to tackle each and every step with confidence.

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