As a parent in a blended family, you love your stepchildren as much as your biological kids. You give all your children the love, support and discipline they need to grow up as well-adjusted, happy and healthy as they can be. Whether you are your stepchildren’s legal parent or not seems irrelevant to your day-to-day life.
That’s understandable, but stepparent adoption may still be a wise and important decision for your family for the following reasons:
- It guarantees that you have the same parental rights over the kids as your spouse, their biological mother or father. This can be critical if your spouse dies. In Tennessee, biological relatives like grandparents, aunts and uncles might have more right to claim guardianship than you if you have not adopted the kids.
- All your children will have the right to be covered by your health insurance, and you have the right to make decisions for them during a medical emergency. And when you pass away, they will have equal inheritance rights.
- Going through the process and the ceremony can show your stepchild your love and commitment to them.
Thus, there are several good reasons to pursue the adoption of your stepchildren, especially if the kids’ other biological parent is not a part of their lives. If the other parent is not available or does not object to losing their parental rights, the adoption process is fairly straightforward. Still, without legal guidance from a family law attorney, it is possible to make a mistake in the paperwork can delay or even derail your adoption.