In reality, you consider your stepchild part of the family, just like you do your biological children. However, it is important to formalize this arrangement to avoid loose ends.
Being a legally recognized parent comes with its perks. Besides giving your child a sense of belonging, formally adopting them means that you can make decisions about important aspects of their life since the law draws no distinction between a biological parent and an adoptive one.
However, there are certain things that you need to take into consideration if you intend to adopt your stepchild. Here is how everything plays out in Texas.
Do you have the consent of both parents?
To adopt your stepchild, the other biological parent needs to consent to the adoption by relinquishing their parental rights. Doing so means that they will no longer be involved in the child’s life. Therefore, it is crucial to have a court-issued order terminating their parental rights.
Otherwise, the other parent is still the legally recognized parent under the law without a court order suggesting otherwise.
Does the child need to consent?
If the child is over the age of 12, they need to consent to the adoption in writing. However, should the court determine that their adoption is in the child’s best interests, the court may waive this requirement. Additionally, a child over 10 years old has to consent to a name change following an adoption.
Anticipate any legal issues
It is essential that you go through all the required steps in the adoption process to be on the safe side. The adoption process can be a complex legal process. Keeping in mind that mistakes can happen along the way, you should be well prepared for anything that may hinder your adoption plans.