When a Texas stepparent adopts a stepchild, the legal bond between the two gives the stepparent the ability to make medical decisions for the child, seek custody in the event the get divorced from their spouse or the spouse dies and provide or seek child support. Essentially, the adoption process makes the stepchild legally the stepparent's child.
There are many reasons stepparents may want to adopt their stepchild. Adoption is a way for stepparents to show legal commitment to a child they may already have been raising for years. For the child, it enforces emotional commitment and security. It also guarantees that the stepparent can provide legal care for the child or seek visitation or custody in the event a spouse dies. This can be incredibly important if the child's other biological parent is abusive or cannot care for the child.
While adopting a stepchild can be a positive event, there are certain times when a stepparent may not want to go through with it. If the other biological parent contests the adoption, the conflict can be difficult for the child. It does not erase jealousy and other family problems that may be occurring. Further, if a stepparent is not certain that a marriage or partnership will last, they may want to hold of on an adoption.
Because every stepparent situation is different, stepparents who are considering adopting their stepchild should not use this blog as legal advice. A family law attorney may review the circumstances surrounding the case to determine if an adoption is a good option for a family. If the adoption is contested or there are other reasons that adopting a stepchild may not be right for family, the attorney may have some other options that are available that will still provide a stable future for the child.