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2 Bumps

Adoption/stepmom rights?

My husband has 3 children from 2 previous marriages. The 2 youngest may be coming to live with us soon. Their mother lost custody of them and now the GGM that they live with is getting sick and can't take care of them. My question is for me to be able to take care of their school needs and dr visits do I need to adopt them and become their legal guardian or is being their stepmom enough?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:26 PM on Feb. 9, 2011 in Adoption

Answers (20)
  • Realistically the school and doctor shouldn't give you a problem. Legally, you have no rights. You can't adopt them unless the mother signs away her rights. Just because she lost custody, it doesn't mean she loses the right to be their mother.

    Answer by Marwill at 7:29 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Your husband has to have full custody (without the mother involved) for you to adopt them. Right now you have No rights. Id talk to a lawyer and see what the guidelines are for your state. But unless the mother is going to sign over her rights then you can NOT adopt them. GL!

    Answer by Steph319 at 7:33 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Her rights were terminated by the state. Does that matter?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:39 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • She was charged with felony neglect and child abuse. The children were taken away from her and her rights were terminated by a judge.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:40 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • You need to stay out of the kids relationships and let their FATHER take over. You are not their mother and never will be. Stepmothers need to stop thinking they are the mom when they really aren'y.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Anonymous above...the OP didn't say she wanted to be their mother. She is concerned about caring properly for children who are going TO BE LIVING IN HER HOME. She has every right to be concerned over these issues.

    Answer by Marwill at 8:11 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • If her rights were terminated and your husband agrees you can adopt them. I am the adoptive Mom of my own grandkids their parents rights were terminated by the state. We had the kids for 3 yrs before that happened under temporary legal guardianship. When their rights were terminated we moved directly into adoption proceedings.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:23 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • To anonymous- I never planned on trying to take over as their mother. But I am married to their father, I will be a parent to them. Am I just supposed to not take them to school or to drs appts bc my husband works during the times of both of those?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 8:37 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • The laws regarding these sorts of issues vary from state to state. That partially explains why you have gotten so many differing opinions, You need to see a family law attorney. I imagine for school purposes, being their stepmother is enough. And yes, if her rights were terminated, she has no say in what happens with the children.

    Answer by Southernroots at 11:25 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • For the most part....if your husband has total custody and mom's rights have been terminated - yes you can adopt. BUT the isse is if social services is still involved. If so - it can get complicated and the final answer may be no for now but yes someday. Any step parent can adopt when the rights of the biological parent are no longer recognized legally. But as I said, social services and the complex issues as to how your step children arrived makes it impossible for anyone to answer. No matter how you look at it you will most likely be looking at hiring a lawyer. Many people do not have the money for that. Usually (in my area) a case like that would cost $3,000 start to finish. $1,500 up front for the retainer. A couple of thoughts: you can try and get recognized as a legal guardian. Is not as expensive as adoption. But still also depends on social services and if they are still involved. Sometimes it won't cost

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:28 AM on Feb. 10, 2011

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