The story with step-parent adoption
All you need to know if you're considering adopting your spouse's child
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.