You got remarried several years ago, and you have raised your stepchild as if they were your own. Recently, they lost their other biological parent, so you and your spouse have been trying to find ways to help them feel more secure again.
One of the things you may want to do is to look into a stepparent adoption. While you’ll never take the place of someone they lost, completing this legal adoption is a good way to ensure that you have a legal right to take care of your stepchild as a legal parent. You will obtain all the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent by completing this process, so even if your spouse passes away, your stepchild will still remain your child under the law.
How can you complete a stepparent adoption?
You will need to get approval from your spouse to start this process since the other parent has passed away. The court may also want to see that you’ve been married for at least a year before approving an adoption. Additionally, if your stepchild is 14 or older, they too will need to give their consent for the adoption.
A stepparent adoption gives you and your stepchild more security in your relationship because you will be recognized as your child’s legal parent in the same way as if you were their biological one. This may help both of you feel more comfortable knowing that if anything happens to their other biological parent, you will still have a legal parent-child relationship that helps you stay together.