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  • Writer's pictureAdoption NSW

How to ask your Step Parent to Adopt You

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

Becoming a Step Parent is a wonderful way to cement relationships that are already intimate by nature. Step parents choose to be part of a family where they have no legal rights when it comes to the children in their care. They are unable to sign permission slips, and yet will chaperone school excursions. They are unable to approve medical care, but take care of ailing children of their partner’s as if they were made of their own flesh and blood.

They are often the cool head and logical outsider when biological parents are struggling, and the listening ear to their step children whenever called upon. Step parents are individuals who choose to be part of a blended family dynamic. I’ve heard many refer to their stepkids not as ‘step’ children, but as ‘bonus’ children. Instead of seeing children as their partner’s ‘baggage,’ they see these children as just ‘family.’ And that is pretty remarkable.

If at some point, one biological parent has stepped completely out of the picture or abdicated their rights, step parent adoption becomes pretty straight forward, and a great way to cement that family bond–as well as giving the stepparent legal rights to make decisions on behalf of the children. It takes away the ‘step’ part of parenting, and simplifies the title to just ‘mum or ‘dad.’ For many step parents, that would be a dream come true, even if that comes long after the childhood years.

Asking a step parent to adopt you can be a fun endeavour, especially if you know that the biological parent has abdicated rights, or if you are over 18 years old. You can take a cue from any other gift-giving occasion. Odds are, you already have the kind of relationship with your stepparent that makes you want to be their legal child, then they will likely already welcome the gift any way you choose to propose the idea.

Try filling a box with photos and slips of paper recalling great memories of all of you as a family–including one page at the bottom that says, “Will you adopt me?” It can be as a grand a gesture as doing it with family and friends around a holiday or birthday. Or you could make it as intimate as sliding an envelope across the table at a coffee shop that includes a card with a photo of a favorite memory with the words “Will you adopt me?” on the inside.  Or you could simply buy one of our kits for them for mothers day (or of course fathers day)

The prospect can be overwhelming, but try to have fun with it. (Keep in mind, there may be legal details to hammer out afterwards, especially if one biological parent has not yet abdicated rights and you’re under 18. But asking can often start the process.) This person has been there for you emotionally, physically, and often financially. There is a lot of love there already. Why not make it official?

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