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How stepfathers can become actual fathers

At times a man marries a woman that has children from a previous marriage or just from another male while unmarried. Such men become stepfathers in the new marriage, and have most of the roles and duties that a legal father would in Texas. However, the stepfather may desire to have the same relationship to his wife’s children as any legal parent would. In this case, a stepfather may seek to adopt the children as his own.   

According to Findlaw, a stepfather adoption turns the stepfather into the children’s legal father. A stepparent adoption process, although similar to regular adoption, can actually be easier than regular adoption, which involves a long period of waiting before the adoption can go through, plus home visits by legal authorities. However, the courts may waive some of these requirements since a stepparent already lives with the children. This can speed up the adoption process.

In most cases of stepfather adoption, the birth father’s consent will be required for the adoption to proceed. This may be a difficult process to achieve, as a birth father is surrendering all parental rights in consenting to the adoption. In cases where a birth father still has a strong relationship with his child, stepfather adoption might not be possible. However, some birth fathers may not know their children well or at all, and have no problems with stepfather adoption. Sometimes a birth father might believe that it is actually best for their child to be adopted by a stepfather.

There are also instances where stepfather adoption can happen regardless of the birth father’s wishes. However, these involve proving that the biological father has willfully neglected his child or children or is unfit to handle the responsibilities of being a father. In addition, it may turn out that the supposed biological father actually is not the biological father at all, which would deny that person the right to object to the adoption. Such cases require evidence brought before a court that the biological father has not visited the child, has mental issues, abuses drugs, or has somehow disqualified himself from retaining parental rights.

Finally, it should be noted, according to, that stepfather adoption also opens a man up to the consequences of divorce just like normal fathers. Should a stepfather legally adopt the children of a spouse and later divorce that spouse, then the new legal father will be subject to all of the responsibilities of a father post-divorce, including child support obligations, just as if that person was the actual biological father.

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