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What to consider before adopting stepchildren

When Florida residents marry a person with children, they may consider adopting their new stepchildren. Before families take this step, however, there are a few things it is important for them to consider.

As families consider stepparent adoption, it is a good idea for them to examine their particular situation. According to Adoption.org, some families may not be ready for this step immediately after a parent remarries. Additionally, the children likely have a biological father or mother. If the kids have a good relationship with this parent, stepparents may not want to pursue adoption. This is because the children's other parent typically has to give his or her permission before the adoption can take place. Adoption generally ends a person's parental rights and some fathers or mothers may not agree to give these up. 

In some situations, stepparent adoption may be a good idea. FamilyEducation.com says people may want to consider this step if the children's other parent has died or if this parent is not capable of responsibly caring for the kids. Adoption can also help children understand that their new stepparent is committed to the relationship. 

If people choose to adopt their stepchildren, it is important for them to do this for the right reasons. Some stepparents may want to adopt because they think this will improve their relationship with the kids or because they want all the children in the house to feel like both adults are their parents. However, if a person has a complicated relationship with his or her stepkids, adoption may not produce the positive relationship a person was hoping for. Additionally, if both people bring children into the marriage, adopting all of the kids may not necessarily remove any tension among the kids. 

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