Many Ohio residents choose to adopt to start or expand their family. If you have gotten married and your spouse has a child from a previous relationship, you might consider adopting your stepchild. These are some benefits of stepparent adoption.
Adopting your stepchild
If you want to adopt your stepchild, you must get consent from their other parent. If the parent is absent from the child’s life, you can bypass this requirement; however, if that’s not the case, the other parent has to agree to relinquish their parental rights.
You can also adopt your stepchild if the other parent has a history of neglect or abuse against the child. Abandonment, not paying any support toward the child’s care and other violations of family court orders also make the process more straightforward.
Benefits of stepparent adoptions
Stepparent adoption allows you to establish your parental rights to your spouse’s child. Once the adoption occurs, it means you have legal rights to make decisions on the child’s welfare. It also gives you equal standing with your spouse and ensures that your stepchild still has a parent in you in the event that your spouse unexpectedly passes away.
Adopting your stepchild can give the child a good sense of security and belonging. When you choose stepparent adoption, it shows them that you love them just like they were your own flesh and blood. If you and your spouse have children together, stepparent adoption allows your stepchild to share your last name and gives them a feeling of permanence that they need. This can significantly strengthen your bond.
Even if you aren’t able to officially adopt your stepchild, you can still plan for their future by including them in your estate plan. You can name them as a beneficiary in your will and leave them an inheritance. If you choose to create a trust, you can hold assets in it to eventually leave them.
Adopting your stepchild might be the best thing you ever do. It can strengthen your family bonds and enrich the child’s life.