Stepparent adoption is the most commonly occurring type of domestic adoption in the United States. A stepparent situation may develop from a single mother getting married, death of a spouse and remarriage, or divorce and remarriage.
In a stepparent adoption, the adopting parent assumes all financial and legal responsibilities for any child or children of his or her spouse. The biological, but non-custodial parent, is released from any and all parenting responsibilities and rights related to the children.
Although the adoption process for stepparent adoption is usually much easier, the laws do vary from state to state. Some states may require a home study were others will not. There may be a time period of marriage that must occur before the adoption is permitted. The relinquishment and consent process may be different for each state as well.
As with any adoption, Christian families need to pray through and discuss the various benefits and challenges related to a stepparent adoption. Divorce can often leave a bitter taste towards an offending spouse, but the children should never be used in any type of retaliation.
Stepparent adoption, with the absence of a second parent and new marriage, can be a tremendous blessing to the child or children creating a greater sense of security and belonging.