When you marry someone with children, you try to prepare yourself for the difficulties of finding your place in the new family. The opportunity may arise where adopting your stepchildren seems like a natural step, but there are many factors to consider.
Prepare for an Emotional Journey
Each family situation is unique, and what your family needs is no different. It is vital to ensure that the children are emotionally prepared for the adoption. The fact that a stepparent is willing to adopt them can bring on a flood of different emotions. Some children will feel a sense of abandonment from their birth parent, which can manifest in anger toward you. Even if the children have not seen the birth parent in years, they can still exhibit feelings of resentment for you, feeling that you are trying to replace their mom or dad. Understand that these are normal feelings, which is a good reason to attend family therapy, and encourage your stepchildren to work with a therapist, as well.
Experienced Representation is a Must
The adoption process can be long and complicated. An experienced attorney can help you avoid added stress by taking care of all legal paperwork for you, walking you through the process and giving you the confidence you will need as you work through the steps. Your attorney will file your petition to adopt and will explain the regulations to you, helping avoid long delays in the adoption journey.
Even if you have an excellent relationship with your stepchildren, it will take some time for the family to become accustomed to the new normal. Be patient as everyone settles in. Also remember that you are taking on the legal responsibilities of a birth parent. Give yourself time to process these changes as well.
Stepparent adoption is a selfless act that can bond a family in beautiful ways. If you would like more information about stepparent adoption or any other family law issue, call the office of Stephen Hagler today at (706) 860-9060 to schedule your free consultation.
Posted on behalf of Stephen H. Hagler, LLC