Your stepchild’s biological parents have the legal authority to make final decisions about your stepchild’s medical care,schooling and spiritual training,no matter how deeply involved you are with your stepchild’s care. Obtaining legal guardianship of your stepchild can provide closer legal ties.
People also ask
What is the difference between a legal guardianship and a stepparent?
A legal guardianship, on the other hand, preserves the legal ties between the child and his biological parents, so their rights and responsibilities co-exist with the stepparent’s. However, courts often hesitate to grant guardianship if both biological parents are fit and present in their children’s lives.
How do I adopt a stepchild or become a legal guardian?
The process of adopting a stepchild or becoming a legal guardian varies greatly by state, so always consult a licensed family law professional in your state when considering these steps. There are big differences between adopting a stepchild and becoming a stepchild’s legal guardian.
How can a stepparent gain legal rights to a stepchild?
There are two major ways for a stepparent to gain additional legal rights: adopting the stepchild or becoming the stepchild’s legal guardian. Some states also offer parents the option to delegate certain parental powers, like making medical or education-related decisions, to a stepparent via a power of attorney.
How long does permanent guardianship of a stepchild last?
A permanent guardianship remains effective until your stepchild reaches age 18. Your stepchild’s biological parents would still be responsible for providing financial support and would retain legal ties to your stepchild.