When you have stepchildren in your life, it is likely that you have spent many years in the full-time role as their parent. They will look up to you as a parental figure, and indeed, while they will know that the two of you are not related by blood, they will likely refer to you as “mom” or “dad.”
From a psychological perspective, it can be confusing to young children as to why the two of you do not share a name, or why you are not on their birth certificate. When considering the practical aspects of being a legal parent, you may also be concerned about what might happen to your relationship after a separation, or if the biological parent passes away. Your love and concern for your stepchild will mean that you will be willing to do anything to make sure that you never lose your relationship.
Considering adopting your stepchild in Texas
The legal adoption of your stepchildren can tie a lot of loose ends together. It will mean that you will legally be their parent, and you will have all the same rights as you would if you were related by blood. It can also show your stepchildren that you will always be there for them and is likely to strengthen your bond.
Where to start in the adoption process
The first thing that you should do is file a petition with the Texas court. By filing this petition, you will be requesting the termination of the legal rights of one biological parent, and you will be seeking to adopt in partnership with your spouse, who is the other biological parent.
What to expect in the court hearing
No matter what the situation, you will need to attend a court hearing, and explain to the judge why you are seeking to adopt your stepchild. If the children are old enough to state their own opinion, they may be asked to be heard in front of the judge.
Making the choice to adopt your stepchild is a big decision and one that should never be taken lightly. It is important to be well-informed of the entire process before adopting your stepchild in Texas.