In the United States, around half of all marriages result in separation or divorce. As a result, blended families with stepparents and stepchildren are quite common. Stepparent adoption is one topic that someone might want to know more about after marrying their spouse who has kids from a previous marriage.
Here are three things to know about stepparent adoptions in Tennessee.
1. The other parent terminates their rights
In some cases, a stepparent adopts their new spouse’s children because the other parent passed away. However, in cases where the other parent is still living, the other parent needs to first terminate their parental rights before a stepparent adoption can occur.
2. The process is easier if married
Sometimes, couples live together long-term but decide not to go through with marriage for any number of reasons. However, it is important to note that the adoption process may be easier if the stepparent is legally married to the biological parent or other guardian of the child. But keep in mind that you do not have to get married to go through with the adoption process.
3. It helps to have an emotional connection
Although not legally required, it is generally in the best interest of the child if the stepparent planning to adopt them is someone who they feel close to. This may be especially important if their parent’s divorce was recent, or if their other parent recently passed away.
When someone is a stepparent wanting to adopt, it is a good idea to learn more about the adoption process.