Divorce and co-parenting in California are difficult even under the most amicable circumstances. The remarriage of one or both spouses can also create new challenges. One such challenge is the desire of a stepparent to adopt the children.
In a perfect co-parenting situation, you should be able to get to know and approve of the woman your ex marries. After all, depending on your divorce decree and parenting plan, this woman will likely be in your children’s lives at least 50% of the time.
Can a stepparent adopt someone else’s child?
Yes it is possible for a stepparent to adopt a stepchild. Such a move is relatively rare, however, particularly when both parents are involved in the lives of their children.
What to consider if asked to let someone adopt your child?
Asking to adopt someone’s child who already has two involved parents in his or her life should raise some questions, and possible red flags, about the one asking. Consider the following:
- Do you know and like this woman?
- Does she treat your child(ren) well?
- How long has she been in their lives?
- What is her reason for wanting to adopt them?
The new wife’s motives may be altruistic but this is not always the case. For example, if your ex is bitter about your divorce he may be encouraging her to adopt your children as a way of getting back at you. Be aware that family law in California protects your parental rights.
Do you have to agree to an adoption?
No, you do not. Unless your parental rights are terminated by a family court judge, you have an absolute right to remain your child’s parent. Judges don’t terminate parental rights unless the parent has been found to be unfit.