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The story with step-parent adoption

All you need to know if you're considering adopting your spouse's child


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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When a single mother meets someone and gets married, if her new partner is not the biological father of the child, they will have the option of applying for stepparent adoption. This is when the step-father adopts the child, to secure the legal link between them.

So what are the impacts of this?

  • The stepfather becomes the legal adoptive father of the child. He will have all the same rights and responsibilities as any parent.
  • The biological father will lose all their rights and responsibilities over the child, and there will be no possibility of getting those rights back in the future. The biological father is consulted before a stepparent adoption takes place, whether the biological father has guardianship rights or not. It is rare that a stepparent adoption would be done without the consent of the biological father.

Why might someone go for stepparent adoption?

  • It might help give the child a sense of security.
  • It shows that their stepfather is committed to looking after them.
  • It gives the child a little added legal protection, which is especially important in the event of the mother’s death.

How do I apply for it?

You need to apply through your local HSE adoption team. Your family will the be assessed by a social worker to make sure it’s the best option for you.

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Published November 12th, 2014
Last updated October 28th, 2015
Tags young parent adoption
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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