If you are in a relationship and are interested in adopting your partner’s child, then you may be ready to complete a step-parent or second-parent adoption. While these are similar kinds of adoptions, they are not quite the same.
In either case, the adoption can help you obtain the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent of the child in question. However, it is important to be aware of the differences to know what to expect.
What’s the same about step-parent adoptions and second-parent adoptions?
Step-parent and second-parent adoptions are both used to give a second parent the rights of a biological parent. In both cases, the new parent is adopting a partner’s legal child.
What’s different about step- or second-parent adoptions?
There are perhaps more differences than similarities when you get down to it. Second-parent adoptions are for unmarried people and those in same-sex relationships. The adoption creates a legally binding relationship with the child where one may otherwise not be possible.
Step-parent adoptions are for married couples. In these adoptions, the step-parent seeks the rights and responsibilities of the child’s second biological parent. In the case that the child still has two parents, the other parent would have to give up their parental rights, have them taken away or no longer be able to exercise them (such as in the case of death) before the step-parent would be able to seek to adopt their step-child.
You may want to consider adoption in your relationship
If you have a step-child or are in a same-sex relationship and would like to adopt your partner’s child to be sure you have the same rights and relationship to them as your partner, husband or wife, then you may want to look into adoption. Both kinds of adoption have their own requirements and difficulties, but the benefits that come with them are unmatched.
With a completed adoption, a parent who would otherwise have not had a legal obligation to the child (or the legal right to custody in the event of a separation or divorce) will now have the same rights and responsibilities as the biological or legal parent.