Happy Friday! We finally made it to the weekend! Plus, it’s officially Easter Break! I bet you are looking forward to your extended break as much I am!
Today officially kicks off my four week campaign talking ALL types of adoption. Over the next four weeks I will keep you all up to date on how you can get involved and I hope you truly do enjoy this series because I am so excited to share something that I am so passionate about with you! REMEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you or someone you know is adopted and would like to have their story shared please email MADE.OF.LOVE.NOT.GENES@GMAIL.COM 👋👋👋👋
As mentioned before, I will be posting every Friday about a type of adoption that can take place here in the United States. The four types of adoption are adopting a step child, adopting through the US Foster Care System, adopting a child in the United States (domestic adoption), and adopting a child from another country (international adoption).
Today I will be talking about the process of adopting a stepchild. I think it is fair to say that many are surprised that this is considered a category for adoption, but it is quite common. In fact, it is the most common type of adoption, when you think about it, it actually makes sense. This type of adoption happens when someone marries a person who already has children. That person might want to be those children’s parent, so they would adopt. Personally, I was surprised to figure that part out. I always thought that stepparents are just automatically parents, but they have to adopt the kids!
This type of adoption usually tends to be easier than the others depending on each State’s laws. The family does not have to be represented by a lawyer or even have a home study. That can change from state to state though. The procedures of adopting a stepchild still requires many background checks and the whole nine yards, but it is worth every single bit!
Consent is a big part of this type of adoption process because in order to adopt, the soon-to-be parent needs approval from both their spouse/partner and the other parent unless if they abandoned that child or is unfit to give their consent. Plus, the child themself usually has to give consent. States usually have different ages for a child to consent, but it usually ranges from 10-14.
The steps to adopting a step child are a little arduous, but in the long run it is worth the world. To begin, researching the laws and rules is a prominent step. After research is done, contacting courts is extremely important because they will be the end factor in determining the adoption and making it official. The next part is the legal forms which is not the worst. This part includes the consent from both of the child’s parents. As mentioned before, you need the other parent even if they are split. After all paperwork is taken care of, the stepparent will go to a preliminary hearing. The wait time to get a date varies from a few weeks to a few months. When you really think about it, that isn’t the longest. In this hearing, the child who is being adopted has to give consent to the adoption. Now once that is done, you wait around three months until your final hearing. Throughout those months a social worker usually visits to ensure that the family is adjusting well. Once the final hearing is set, the family attends this and an Order (adoption certificate) is presented to legally state the stepparent as the legal guardian of the child!!! 🥳🥳🥳🥳After all the forms are presented, birth certificates and other documents can be changed!
It seems long, but I’m not sure how many times I have said this; it is ALL worth it in the end. Love takes time and it demands lots of work, but it is worth it. The next time you see a stepparent, think about all the work they had to do. I think it is extremely honorable of them to go through such extremes. However, it shows they will do anything for the love of that child. And I want to mention, that child isn’t even blood related or share the same genes. Stepparent Adoptions truly
“Redefine the American Family” and show that the world is “Made of Love Not Genes”.
If if you would like more information visit the source I used; Child Welfare Information Gateway. They have an entire fact sheet about stepparent adoption.
My other source goes to the Dave Thomas Foundation! Be sure to check back next week for another post and THIS SUNDAY for an adoption spotlight!