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evona
07-08-2008, 02:07 AM
My BF wants to adopt my children, but my DS is16 and my DD nearly 18. My children are all for it, but I can't find any information about adoption of older children of a significant other. I don't even know if legitimate adoption is possible for my DD. Unfortunately, they were already teenagers when we got together, but he has been way more of a father to both of them than their biological father and both of them call them dad. He has been to all the parent/teacher meetings, high school plays, art shows, etc and he has been there to buy them new school clothes, school supplies and shoes. Not to mention his emotional support through first boyfriends and girlfriends and problems with peers and all the fun things like movies, concerts, birthday parties, beach parties, camping, etc.

When I look up adoption online I mostly get information about adoption of children from other countries. Does anyone know anything about adopting significant others children and any requirements regarding age?

KnittingNat
07-08-2008, 04:06 AM
From what i found on the internet, it's called stepparent adoption. I found some info on adoption.com. I'm not sure about significant other, because you're not married, so you partner is not an official stepfather. You should check with your state laws about that and about age restrictions. From what i've found, adopting your children by your partner will also mean that their biologocal father will have to give up any claim and responsibility for the children. HTH:hug:

Nobones
07-08-2008, 06:15 AM
My Dad was adopted at the age of 21, that was nearly 50 years ago. I'm sure it's possible. What a wonderful boyfriend you have.

kellee0302
07-08-2008, 09:15 AM
My son is almost 14 and my husband is adopting him. The funny thing is when filling out the paper work, it makes it look like I'm also adopting my own son.
The father definately has to sign off his rights in order for you boyfriend to adopt them.
The best bet is to see a lawyer, they should do a free consult..
Good Luck and be happy that your boyfriend is willing to take on that kind of responsibility. I was lucky that my husband wanted to do the same.

craff1
07-08-2008, 10:50 AM
Does this mean he also wants to marry you? Sounds like dd18 is too old but those age requirements may vary from state to state. For instance in NJ a parent paying child support can be forced to pay college expenses up through a masters degree.

On the younger one, I wouldn't want to let him adopt unless you're planning to get married as well, but that's just me...
Just my two cents - worth about what you paid for it!! LOL!
Cheryl

kellyh57
07-08-2008, 12:04 PM
I know this is a little out there- but Brad Pitt adopted Angelina's kids and they aren't married and have no plans to, right? I think you'll probably have to show "serious commitment" or something to that effect. I know gay couples adopt all the time and they aren't legally married also. You do have to get the father to terminate his rights to the child, but you can also get the court to do it if he's unreachable, unworthy, or whatever. I've had a few friends with husbands that adopted their children, but they were all married at the time.

Kelly

GinnyG
07-08-2008, 12:34 PM
My son is almost 14 and my husband is adopting him. The funny thing is when filling out the paper work, it makes it look like I'm also adopting my own son.


YOU ARE!!! My son was adopted by my (now ex) husband when he was 4 years old. I had raised him alone for over three years, got married and my (now ex) husband wanted to adopt him.

BIG MISTAKE. No one thinks their relationship or marriage is going to fail, but mine did. The adoption process required that I also "give up my rights", I became an adoptive parent (legally) which according to my attorney was to put both parents on equal footing. At the time it seemsed lovely.

Some years later when we were divorced my ex actually tried to get custody of my son, and (although he didn't) in the right circumstance he might have gotten custody. The fact that I was the "natural" parent had no bearing on the case.

I hate to sound cynical but I wouldn't do it, not only are you not married to this man but it essentially changes your relationship to your children. Had I known then what I know now I would NEVER have done it.

susi
07-09-2008, 11:08 AM
YOU ARE!!! My son was adopted by my (now ex) husband when he was 4 years old. I had raised him alone for over three years, got married and my (now ex) husband wanted to adopt him.

BIG MISTAKE. No one thinks their relationship or marriage is going to fail, but mine did. The adoption process required that I also "give up my rights", I became an adoptive parent (legally) which according to my attorney was to put both parents on equal footing. At the time it seemsed lovely.

Some years later when we were divorced my ex actually tried to get custody of my son, and (although he didn't) in the right circumstance he might have gotten custody. The fact that I was the "natural" parent had no bearing on the case.

I hate to sound cynical but I wouldn't do it, not only are you not married to this man but it essentially changes your relationship to your children. Had I known then what I know now I would NEVER have done it.


funnily enough my boyfriend has been talking about this and i have said absolutly no way. my ds is now 5 and if we ever split up hell would freeze before any stepfather could take my baby away from me!! i fought his father for him not to have any rights im not about to give another man this right, UNLESS we had been married for 20+ years, then it kinda defetes the ideas really.

i do think that as long as your kids see your boyfriend as their dad and he sees them as his kids then why do you need a piece of paper? they can legaly take his surname by changing it i think (i have agreed that if bf and me get married we will both take his surname, but thats the only thing i am prepared to give). i know that sounds awful because i do love him but i love my son so much more and would never take any chances. i know its different as your kids are 16 and 18, but i would seriously give it far more thought. sorry just my opinion.

but, if you want to have a lmook at step parent adoption on teh internet there is vast information that can help you

susi
07-09-2008, 11:10 AM
dont know if this is any good i just googled step parent adoption

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services/families/adoption/interested-in-adopting/types-of-adoption/step-parent-adoption.htm

auntcrafty
07-09-2008, 01:21 PM
I "adopted" my stepfather when I was 36, by legally changing my last name to his surname. I also chose to change my middle name at the time to my maternal grandmothers given name.

Dad offered to pay for me to do it when I was in my early 20s when my younger brother changed his name when he turned 18, but my mother nixed the idea when she said I would legally change my name when I got married so why go to all that expense -- thanks Mom!

evona
07-10-2008, 01:36 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone! I know these are famous last words, but I really don't see my BF and I breaking up anytime soon. I had my kids at 16 and 18, suffered an abusive relationship, left him at 21 and purposely didn't date for many years afterward, both because I wanted to be sure I wasn't dating the same pattern of man and because I wanted to focus on my kids. I've known my BF for 8 years and have been dating him for 4 years and I seriously have never met anyone as great as he is. He is a complete 180 from the guys I used to date or even found attractive. Now I look at the guys I used to like and think "Yuck!"

However, I know that no one knows the future and the future may hold a bad breakup, but my daughter is nearly an adult and I don't think she would sever her ties to my BF even if we broke up. My son is 16 and I do know that our laws out here give kids that age a pretty big say in who they get to stay with in the event of their parents separation.

Its true that a piece of paper doesn't mean much, but in the case of my DD it actually might mean a lot. She doesn't have a relationship with her biological father and she really pines for that "real" father figure. Its some of the issues that she is dealing with recently that made my BF think about the subject.

Jan in CA
07-10-2008, 11:24 AM
It's good that you listened to what everyone has to say, but in the end it's your decision to make. You know the situation and the parties involved better than anyone else. I wish you all the best of luck! :hug:

susi
07-10-2008, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! I know these are famous last words, but I really don't see my BF and I breaking up anytime soon. I had my kids at 16 and 18, suffered an abusive relationship, left him at 21 and purposely didn't date for many years afterward, both because I wanted to be sure I wasn't dating the same pattern of man and because I wanted to focus on my kids. I've known my BF for 8 years and have been dating him for 4 years and I seriously have never met anyone as great as he is. He is a complete 180 from the guys I used to date or even found attractive. Now I look at the guys I used to like and think "Yuck!"

However, I know that no one knows the future and the future may hold a bad breakup, but my daughter is nearly an adult and I don't think she would sever her ties to my BF even if we broke up. My son is 16 and I do know that our laws out here give kids that age a pretty big say in who they get to stay with in the event of their parents separation.

Its true that a piece of paper doesn't mean much, but in the case of my DD it actually might mean a lot. She doesn't have a relationship with her biological father and she really pines for that "real" father figure. Its some of the issues that she is dealing with recently that made my BF think about the subject.

I know what you are saying my 5 year old is desperate for the 'real' father figerb in his life. if this feels right to you then its the best thing you can do for your family. and being honest as your kids arent small there isnt a lot he could do if the worst ever happened.

i have done the same with men lol. i look at guys i used to think were just dreamy and now think omg what on the earth did i see in them!! thank goodness for new men that get wehave kids and love our ready made family hey.

does sounbd like you have yourself a wonderful fella though

evona
07-11-2008, 04:13 PM
i have done the same with men lol. i look at guys i used to think were just dreamy and now think omg what on the earth did i see in them!! thank goodness for new men that get wehave kids and love our ready made family hey.

does sound like you have yourself a wonderful fella though

Isn't that funny!! I can't even see what was attractive about the guys I used to like. Mostly I think they're dumb now! [rofl] It partly has to do with being older and wiser (all the more reason I thank my stars I had the foresight not to date for a while after my ex) and I think having a good guy now has helped me see men in a different way as well.

Once again, thanks for everyone's advice. I am going to look up a lawyer and talk about it with them. We have also talked about simply calling our rabbi (well really my BF's parent's rabbi since we don't attend very often) and seeing if there is a ceremony they can do for us. It might not be a piece of legal paper, but I think it would feel very real for my kids, especially my DD. Plus, that would include the entire family and what more to make a kid feel welcome than to have a huge family get together . . .lol

Cynamar
07-12-2008, 10:36 AM
I don't know how child support is affected by that, but it's a factor since you are not married.

Puddinpop
07-12-2008, 05:32 PM
I have to agree with Cheryl. It would be a real mess if you and your BF broke up. Then what if you found someone that wants to marry you, but your boyfriend has the rights to your children. Marriage is no guarantee, but it's better than no commitment, in my opinion. I don't want to offend you, just friendly advise.

tarrentella
07-13-2008, 09:34 AM
What is the state of 'legal guardianship' over there. Over here it can meen that they are and adoptive parent but it can also meen that they are the person who is officially responsible for somebody under the age of 18 (or 16 depending on what is in question).
I like the idea of getting your (his) rabbi involved. That could be a lovely way of joinging not only your BF to the kids but your families as well. Now this might sound odd, but if you are willing to do that then why not a marriage, personally i am not a big believer in marriage (both my parents have been married and divorced 3 times, 6 divorces in one family puts you off a concept!), but i can see the difference between the BF becoming a legal gaurdan of some sort, but not the diffference between having the rabbi bless you and join the family, after all isn't that what a weding is?

As another alternative to legal gaurdianship or adopting, could you speak to your lawyer and see if there is asome sort of document/contract that could be drawn up which says that for all intents and purposes, your bf is to be considered their father. This would take away some of the clout of adoption (And some of the problems) but would men that if for instance the school needed parents signature, then he could oblige.
good luck to you what ever the outcome, it sounds like your family is finally as it should be!

evona
07-14-2008, 01:11 PM
I have to agree with Cheryl. It would be a real mess if you and your BF broke up. Then what if you found someone that wants to marry you, but your boyfriend has the rights to your children. Marriage is no guarantee, but it's better than no commitment, in my opinion. I don't want to offend you, just friendly advise.

Actually, I'm the one who doesn't want to get married. I am not horribly opposed to it, but I'm not that interested :) We'll see. Even if its just ceremonial it would be something.

evona
07-14-2008, 01:18 PM
I don't know how child support is affected by that, but it's a factor since you are not married.

You mean child support from my ex? I have received $20 in the 13 years we've been apart. He really is a loser.

Cynamar
07-14-2008, 01:23 PM
I just can't see adoption without marriage but I'm not in the situation so I can't judge. I know it can get hairy later.

Puddinpop
07-14-2008, 08:29 PM
I posted before I saw that you have been together for years and in seeing that your daughter would benefit from this makes me see more of where you are coming from. Wishing you the best!

evona
07-15-2008, 09:43 AM
Well, gay couples adopt and in most states they can't get married. So I have a feeling that adoption is available without marriage. I am not too worried about breaking up and having to deal with a custody battle because of the age of my children. I don't think that either of the children would sever ties with him on their own even if we do break up. Right now we are thinking that an informal ceremony might be best though.

evona
07-15-2008, 09:43 AM
I posted before I saw that you have been together for years and in seeing that your daughter would benefit from this makes me see more of where you are coming from. Wishing you the best!

Thanks :)

evona
07-15-2008, 09:53 AM
What is the state of 'legal guardianship' over there. Over here it can meen that they are and adoptive parent but it can also meen that they are the person who is officially responsible for somebody under the age of 18 (or 16 depending on what is in question).
I like the idea of getting your (his) rabbi involved. That could be a lovely way of joinging not only your BF to the kids but your families as well. Now this might sound odd, but if you are willing to do that then why not a marriage, personally i am not a big believer in marriage (both my parents have been married and divorced 3 times, 6 divorces in one family puts you off a concept!), but i can see the difference between the BF becoming a legal gaurdan of some sort, but not the diffference between having the rabbi bless you and join the family, after all isn't that what a weding is?

As another alternative to legal gaurdianship or adopting, could you speak to your lawyer and see if there is asome sort of document/contract that could be drawn up which says that for all intents and purposes, your bf is to be considered their father. This would take away some of the clout of adoption (And some of the problems) but would men that if for instance the school needed parents signature, then he could oblige.
good luck to you what ever the outcome, it sounds like your family is finally as it should be!

Thanks! Definitely some things to think about. I, unfortunately, am not that into marriage. I like ceremony though :rofl: I have my own beliefs about marriage and I'm not against it at all, but the core of it is that my sister is a lesbian. Now, in California they CAN get married for the time being, but there is an amendment to our state constitution on the ballot for November attempting to ban gay marriage for good here. She's been in her current relationship for more than 10 years and I have never seen a couple so in love as them, except for maybe me and my boyfriend. I just can't see me having a wedding, having my sister stand up for me and inviting her wonderful partner when her rights to the same happiness are not really verified yet. So until the issue of gay marriage in my state is finalized I don't feel right getting married. And if the amendment goes through I may just never get married, or we can all move to Canada :roflhard: My BF feels the same way, as he has gotten to know my sister and her partner and how wonderful they are as well.