You’ve been married to your spouse for years and have grown attached to their child. And the child likes you, too. You even feel that their child is practically your son or daughter. And they can be your son or daughter if you adopt them.
Kentucky Adoption Laws state that any resident 18 or older can adopt a child, and children over 12 have to consent to the adoption bearing some exceptions. A stepparent who wants to adopt their spouse’s child needs permission from both biological parents unless one of them relinquishes their parental rights or doesn’t play an active role in their child’s life and has had their parental rights terminated.
Here are three benefits you can gain from stepchild adoption:
1. Your stepchild can inherit any assets you might leave in a will or trust
As an adoptive parent, you’re welcome to create a will or trust for your stepchild. Not only would your resources be in safe hands, but you could also ensure your stepchild would be financially comfortable after you’re gone.
2. By adopting your stepchild, you can make decisions on their behalf
Adoption grants you the same rights as a biological parent. Therefore, you can have a say on crucial matters like your child’s religion, medical care and education. You also gain the same rights as a natural parent to make decisions in emergencies.
3. Being your stepchild’s adoptive parent could protect them in a worst-case scenario
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go the way people plan. You and your spouse might divorce, or your spouse might pass away. Should these situations occur, your stepchild would still be in your custody. That way, you don’t need to worry about them ending up in a household where they could be unhappy or abused.
Stepchild adoption is a wonderful way to strengthen and maintain a loving connection with your spouse’s kid. If you have questions about the adoption process, it’s best to reach out for legal guidance.