If you have married someone who already has children, you may feel that you should adopt your new kids. Stepparent adoptions offer a way to blend your family into one in the eyes of the law and the community.
Adopting a stepchild (or children) is noble, but it requires careful consideration. Before announcing your intentions to the children, be sure you have addressed any concerns or questions you may have about adoption. Below are several things to consider before adopting your stepchild.
Is it something you really want?
If your spouse or anyone else is pressuring you to adopt your step-kids, it is wise to take some time and reflect on the matter. The last thing your family needs is an adoption done in haste or amid lingering doubts. The final decision to adopt should be yours and yours alone.
Who must consent to the adoption?
When the child’s other biological parent is recognized and alive, you need their consent to the adoption before proceeding. In Florida, children aged 12 and older must also agree to adoption except in limited circumstances. For example, a court may overrule the child’s expressed wishes (either for or against the adoption) when exercising the duty to preserve their best interests.
Can you handle the sudden responsibility?
Unless you already have kids, you might not fully understand the immense responsibilities you are taking on through stepparent adoption. You will be financially responsible for the child, and you will play a critical role in their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Consider learning more about stepparent adoption and the process of adopting. It can offer you clarity when deciding if adoption is best for you and your family.