When you have stepchildren, they become an important part of your life. You are there for them in the same ways that a biological parent would be. If your stepchildren lost one of their biological parents or if one of their biological parents is absent, you may consider adopting them.
There are ways to know when it is time to adopt.
Biological parents consented
In North Carolina, you must have the consent of the biological parents to adopt your stepchildren. If not consent, the court must terminate the other parent’s legal rights. How difficult this process will be dependent on the relationship between the biological parent and the children. Once you have permission, you can petition to adopt the children.
When you file the petition to adopt, this tells the court that you intend to adopt the children. At this stage, you will likely have to submit to a background check.
Ready for the responsibility
The Gladney Center for Adoption explains that while you may love your stepchildren, you need to be sure that you are ready to take on the responsibility of raising them. This can be a big step for you and the children. By adopting your stepchildren, you are offering a stable home where he or she can feel safe and wanted. Think about the situation practically. While this can be heartwarming for both stepparent and the children, you also need to keep in mind that the children may have mixed feelings. You must be prepared to have difficult conversations about your role and their biological parent’s role.
To adopt your stepchildren allows you full parenting privileges and obligations. It also allows you to keep custody if something were to happen to your spouse.