Wanting to adopt your spouse’s child is a generous gesture that is likely to benefit you as much as your stepchild. We believe that making the parent-child relationship legal can strengthen the bond in many ways.
Here are some of the advantages your family stands to gain from stepparent adoption.
- Severing an unhealthy relationship with a biological parent
Most times, a biological parent must give up or lose parental rights in order for someone else to adopt the child. It could be that ending that relationship can eliminate a source of emotional stress for your stepchild, especially because he or she has a willing adoptive parent to take on the role instead.
If the other parent has not been in contact with your stepchild for at least a year and has not provided any financial support during that time, then the adoption may go forward without consent.
- Showing your commitment
FamilyEducation points out that while you have shown your commitment to your spouse through marriage, the commitment you make to your stepchild through adoption is even stronger. If you and your spouse divorce, you are still a legal parent. You and your adopted child will always have that parent-child relationship.
- Providing benefits after death
When you die, your spouse will be in line to inherit your estate. However, your stepchild has no legal claim unless you specifically name him or her in your will. By adopting, you make him or her your legal heir. You also entitle your adopted child to benefits such as Social Security benefits, survivor benefits, veterans benefits, settlements, insurance and more.
To learn more about types of adoption, please visit our webpage.