Robert W. Davis, Jr.,
Attorney at Law
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When can stepparents adopt their spouse’s children?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Divorce |

Each family is unique, and sometimes that involves adopting a child or children. If you are married to someone who has children from a previous relationship, you may want to solidify the relationship you have with them through the process of adoption. However, love and a positive relationship are not always enough to make this happen. Stepparent adoption can be a complicated process, especially if the other biological parent opposes this happening.  

Stepparents play a unique and important role in the life of kids. Even though you may not be the biological parent, you may love your stepkids like they are your own. By adopting them, you can formalize the relationship you have and secure parental rights that will allow you to play a certain role in their lives. It is important for you to know how stepparent adoption works and what steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. 

Accomplishing your goals for your family 

While it is not as complicated as other forms of adoption, stepparent adoption is a legal process, and therefore, you could face complications as you navigate it. One critical factor in stepparent adoption is the termination of parental rights. Even if you have permission from your spouse to adopt his or her kids, the other parent still has rights. The other parent would have to terminate his or her rights in order for you to move forward. If the other parent is unable or unwilling to relinquish his or her rights, there are still options available to you. 

There are times when a court may terminate the rights of a parent if he or she is unfit or absent. Courts protect parental rights whenever possible, and there must be clear evidence of abuse or neglect. Other grounds for the termination of parental rights include imprisonment, drug abuse and other behaviors that make a parent unfit. 

Your family’s future 

If you believe that stepparent adoption is the ideal way to achieve the best future for your Mississippi family, you will benefit from seeking guidance as you walk through this process. An assessment of your specific case will help you understand what your options are regarding the adoption of your stepchildren. Preparation for what is ahead will reduce the chance of complications for you and make it more likely that you will succeed with your family law goals.  


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