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How does stepparent adoption work?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Adoption, Family law

One of the most rewarding ways for Texas residents to expand their families is through adoption. When a person is on their second or even third marriage, they might consider adopting their spouse’s child, which can forge an incredible, loving bond. This is how stepparent adoption works.

Understanding stepparent adoption

Stepparent adoption occurs when a person chooses to adopt their spouse’s child; it means that the stepparent becomes the child’s legal parent and provides certain benefits. The child is able to receive an inheritance in the future because of the adoption. They are also able to get health insurance and life insurance benefits.

Adoption is a highly emotional situation that gives families a better sense of permanence. When a person adopts their stepchild, it shows that the love seen in traditional family structures is there and gives the child a sense of stability and belonging. The stepparent also gains recognition as the child’s parent, so they are able to make legal decisions about the child’s welfare. This includes medical decisions, meeting with school officials and more.

How stepparent adoption works

In order for a stepparent adoption to take place, the child’s biological parent must give consent. This means that person relinquishes all parental rights to allow the stepparent to formally adopt the child. However, if the biological parent is absent from the child’s life, consent isn’t necessary.

When a stepparent wishes to adopt their spouse’s child, they must undergo background checks to ensure they are fit to do so. Depending on the child’s age, they must also give consent to being adopted; in Texas, kids aged 12 and older are permitted to give consent to stepparent adoption in writing or in family court. The child may also give consent to having their last name changed.

If you want to adopt your stepchild, it might be the best thing you ever do for your family. It could strengthen your relationship forever.