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Adopting Stepchildren: How to Talk with Your Spouse

When you’re married or living with someone who has children from a past relationship, it can be difficult to navigate the situation. Younger kids may embrace the idea, while older youths may feel frustrated about sharing time with their parent. But once you’ve determined the relationship should be permanent, it’s time to consider adopting your step children. Not only will the process bond your family together, it’ll help your child adjust to the change.

Adopting your stepchild has both legal and emotional repercussions. When you adopt the stepchild, it immediately removes the legal rights from the natural parent and their relatives. For some, this can beneficial, as it restricts negative influences, but some children struggle with the idea of choosing between family members. The emotional implications are great; hence the need to speak with your spouse.

Discuss your reasons for wanting to adopt your partner’s children. This emotional connection may help your spouse communicate your feelings to the child. If you’re to be a unit, the communication between all parties involved is paramount for ensuring a healthy transition. Listen to your partner’s concerns, while responding respectfully. It’s important to not take any reluctance personally; in the end, both parents are trying to do what’s best for the child.

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