When you marry someone who has children from a past relationship, you take the responsibility of caring for the children as your own. As a step-parent, you might consider adoption because of your love for your new children and the wish to solidify your blended family. But, as in other life-changing decisions, careful consideration is a must.
Walking the Fine Line of Step Parenting
You love your step-children — that goes without saying. You might live with them, provide for them financially and discipline them like any parent, but when legal matters arrive, you are not their “real” parent.
According to adoption attorneys in Colorado Springs, the reasons for adopting step-children vary. Some parents do so for the child to receive inheritances or insurance and health benefits. Other reasons include the step-parents want to legalize the relationship and have a say in major decisions concerning the children.
Improving family dynamics before adoption
While the idea of blending formally with your spouse’s children is appealing, adoption encourages a shift in family dynamics. Attending counselling sessions regarding the process is a good way to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for the responsibilities.
Family dynamics classes often discuss the stages of childhood and how parents can handle adoption issues. Engaging in counselling helps you sort out the issues that benefit you and your step-children in the long run.
Taking the next steps towards a blended family
Adopting your spouse’s children comes with a process that requires time, patience, and financial and legal support. First, the children’s biological parent must consent to the adoption and release their parental rights to you. They must sign an “adoption surrender” in the presence of a notary public and witnesses. If the birth parent consents, you can now file a petition for adoption, along with other necessary documents. Finally, if the child is 12 years old and above, he or she must agree to the adoption.
Adopting your step-child is more than giving them legal benefits in the long-run; it is an expression of your willingness to love them as your own.