The Perils of Step-Parent Adoptions

a small child is held by the hand of the parents isolated on white background

Think carefully about hastily entering into another marriage on the rebound.  A warm and loving second or third spouse may seem like the perfect port in the storm of life that you have been navigating.  After your last bad experience, however, you should already know that appearances can be deceiving.

And, whatever you do, beware of a tragic mistake that “second time arounders” sometimes make in an attempt to seal their new perfect love – the adoption of the other spouse’s children from a prior relationship. Step-parent adoptions are often a wonderful way for a parent and step-parent to bring themselves and their children closer together.  They are not, however, noble gestures or symbols of undying love.Adoptions are a lifetime commitment. They create a parent-child bond as tight as any bond that is created by natural birth.

Before you begin the process, ask yourselves if your marriage has the kind of staying power that your new children deserve. Talk the process over with your lawyer. Talk it over with friends, family, and a family counselor.  A step-parent adoption is an important and permanent step in your life and in the life of the child who is about to be yours.  You must treat it like one.

How Much Should We Tell Adopted Children About Their Birth Parents?

In 1936, an English domestic servant gave up one of her twin infant daughters for adoption. Seventy eight years later, the sisters were reunited.  The May 5, 2014 issue of The Advocate does not describe how they found one another after so many years.  Surely their reunion was bittersweet.

How Much Should We Tell Adopted Children About Their Birth Parents?

In years past, it was the custom to hide a child’s adoptive status from him. More recently, couples who adopt sometimes allow the birth mother to stay in touch with her child. People disagree about how much information an adopted child should have about her birth parents.

The Louisana legislature recently considered allowing adopted children some access provided that the biological parents agreed.  If you have an opportunity to adopt a child, his access to information or contact with his biological parents is something you should discuss with your lawyer.