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Can stepchildren be adopted without consent?

Marriage, especially later in life, means that you are getting a new spouse, but you may also be acquiring relationships with the children he or she already had before meeting you. This creates myriad issues and may also make you wonder if you should legally adopt this new child or children in your life.

Adopting your stepchild without the noncustodial parent's consent

When you and your spouse married, you understood that you were taking on the role of stepparent. Since then, you and your stepchild have developed a strong parent-child bond. Now, you want to adopt your stepchild so you can offer him or her all the benefits of a legal parent, and your spouse is ecstatic. However, you cannot become a legal parent while the other parent retains his or her parental rights.

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