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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 step-parent 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 step-father becomes the legal adoptive father of the child
  • The step-father 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 step-parent adoption takes place, whether the biological father has guardianship rights or not
  • It is rare that a step-parent adoption would be done without the consent of the biological father

Why might someone go for step-parent adoption?

  • It might help give the child a sense of security
  • It shows that their step-father 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 May 31st, 2018
Tags young parent adoption
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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