When people consider stepparent adoptions, they're often thinking about legal rights. Maybe the stepparent wants to make sure that they'll get the kids if anything happens to the biological parent. Maybe they're just making sure that they can make medical decisions or see the children if they go to the hospital. They want the law to legally recognize them as a parent.
But let's put all that aside for a moment. As good as those reasons are, another thing to consider is just how meaningful this decision can be for the child.
After all, something has typically happened to put the child in this position. Maybe the other biological parent abandoned the family. Maybe the parents got divorced and that parent implied to the child that it was their fault — or maybe they just feel that way, as many children do, even if no one told them so. Regardless, these emotional hurdles can be hard for children to overcome. They may feel unwanted or unloved.
When a stepparent chooses to adopt them, it's a huge change and a shift in the way the child sees the world. That stepparent is telling the child that they are important, they are loved, they are wanted and they are accepted.
In some ways, this is an even greater statement than they'd ever get from a biological parent. The stepparent does not have to be part of the child's life. But they're choosing to do so. That's how much they love the child, and that demonstration of love can change their life.
There are, of course, many legal steps to consider if you want to pursue such an adoption and make this statement. Find out more about the steps you have to take.