If you’re a step-parent in Texas, your step-child may feel like your biological child. At a certain point, you might have wondered if you should adopt your step-child and make it official. While adopting your step-child can bring your entire family closer, you could encounter a few legal obstacles in your way.
Can a step-parent adopt their step-child?
Step-parents are within their rights to adopt their step-children. In fact, adopting your step-child is cheaper and easier than adopting a child from an agency. However, it’s important to realize that once you adopt this child, they’ll become your responsibility. You won’t be able to walk away if you and your spouse break up. If you and your spouse get divorced, you’ll have to deal with child support, custody battles and everything else.
Additionally, you’ll need the child’s other biological parent to sign off on the adoption. They’ll have to terminate their parental rights before you can adopt their child. If they refuse to do that, you won’t be able to adopt your step-child. You might have to hunt the parent down if they’re no longer part of your step-child’s life. During the hearing, the judge might also ask your step-child to give their permission for the adoption.
Before you start the adoption process, you might want to hire a family law attorney. An attorney may help you deal with any potential legal challenges, like tracking down your step-child’s biological parent.
How can you adopt your step-child?
If you’ve decided that adoption is the right decision for your family, talk to an attorney about starting the adoption process. Depending on your situation, you might not qualify for adoption. If you do, you’ll have to be prepared to pay the fees and attend a court hearing as it can be a long process.
An attorney may help you through every step of the way and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Your legal counsel might also help you deal with any legal challenges from the child’s biological parent.