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  • Writer's pictureAdoption NSW

Stepparent Adoption and Blended Families

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

A blended family is two people who get married that have their own children already. The Brady Bunch is the perfect example of a “blended” family! Carol Brady married Mike Brady, both of whom had 3 children apiece and became one family of eight (and who could forget Alice). It is unclear as to whether Mr. Brady adopted the girls. But it is clear today that stepparent adoption is an awesome thing that should be considered if two people are going to get married anyway.

1) It gives stability to an already unstable situation.

Children of divorce are very similar to foster children in this way. Both types of children split time between the parents that have custody and the parents that do not; both may see a conflict between both sets of parents; both may have gone through trauma, and both may have guilt imagining they caused their current situation. When a stepparent adopts their stepchild, a foundation is set that will set the child up for success for the rest of his or her life. There is a certain comfort that a child takes when they know they are wanted. Children of divorce may have an unstable life. Step parent adoption provides a measure of stability and helps a child feel wanted.

2) It demonstrates compassion

A step parent who adopts his or her stepchildren is demonstrating compassion. Adoptive step parents show they care and understand the trauma the child has gone through and will be there for that child in the future. It shows that they are making a commitment, not only to the children but also to their spouse, who has gone through the pain of divorce or the pain of widowhood.

3) It is the blending together of two families into one. 

Stepparent adoption takes away the awkward conversations that go something like this, “Let me introduce my adopted child, my stepchild and my biological child.” Rather, the conversation should simply go, “These are my children.” After the first few episodes of the Brady Bunch, the kids don’t even refer to one another as “my stepbrother” or “my stepsister.” They simply refer to one another as “brother” and “sister.” Stepparent adoption creates unity in the family.

4 ) It gives the adopted child two very important gifts

The first gift is that the step child can now be included on the family’s Medicare card.  No more confusion and explaining to do.  The second gift is that the step child can now take the surname used by other family members, if they wish to.  These are two important assets for children, the power of which should not be underestimated.

5) It protects the child.

When a stepparent adopts stepchildren, he or she obtains automatic inheritance rights. The stepchild is fully covered legally, just the same a biological child. There is no legal preference of one over the other. The stepchild is protected. 

Of course, each situation is different. Whether stepparent adoption comes through a divorce, abandonment, or the death of a parent, stepparent adoption is a good thing. An adopted stepchild is loved and wanted. Stepparent adoption rocks.

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