If you're ready to formalize the parental role you play in your stepchild's life through adoption, you're taking a big step — one that will offer you and your child many benefits.
That doesn't mean that it'll be easy.
Adoption can be far from straightforward. Here, we'll provide need-to-know information about adopting an older child with as few road bumps as possible.
The Benefits of Adopting Your Teenage Stepchild
You may wonder why it's necessary to formalize your relationship with your stepchild.
Teenage stepchild adoption can provide many perks, including:
- Financial benefits. Legal custody helps link your stepchild to your inheritance and insurance.
- Permanence. Adoption can confer a sense of stability and even finality, which brings with it emotional benefits.
- Logistical parental status. If you don't have a biological or legal relationship with your stepchild, some day-to-day parenting tasks (doctor's appointments, school pickups) can be rife with frustrating, unhelpful obstacles.
Next, let's discuss how you can start working towards these benefits.
Essential Considerations with an Older Child Adoption
In many adoptive scenarios, there is no relationship between the adopter and the adoptee. This necessitates a complicated process, including an extensive home study (and an incredible amount of background checks and paperwork).
Since your child already knows you and may even live in your shared home, you may be able to skip a few of these steps.
One step you can't skip? An older child will likely need to consent to their own adoption. This will occur in court, which can be stressful. Speak with your attorney and your child to soothe any worries about this step.
You may also need to consider your stepchild's other biological parent. In some cases, they may need to formally relinquish their legal parenting rights for your adoption to move forward. This can be emotionally taxing for everyone involved.
From the initial application through to finalized paperwork, your attorney will be able to help you make this process as smooth as possible.
Need Help? Call North Carolina Family Law Attorneys
Adopting your teenage stepchild requires consideration to ensure you don't encounter undue challenges. Having knowledgeable attorneys at Jerkins Family Law at your side will help. Call us at 919-719-2785 for more information, or contact us online to learn about our services.