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adopting a step child

(13 Posts)
MummyZELC Sun 06-Dec-15 19:50:17

Does anyone know the legal ramifications of adopting a step child?
Child is 15 and the adoption is her choice, other bio parent has cut off contact with her and turned a blind eye to her moving 2 hours away, basically won't acknowledge her because she wants to live with Dad. Is this going to be majorly difficult and expensive?

MummyZELC Sun 06-Dec-15 23:27:37


tribpot Sun 06-Dec-15 23:38:44

Some information here.

How long has the estrangement with her mother been? (I'm assuming the other parent is mother, of course it could be another dad!)

Given how long adoption takes I would have thought she could be nearly an adult by the time it's finished. I would really question whether this is worth it. It must be unbelievably upsetting for her that the other parent has cut off contact in this way, my sympathies.

harrasseddotcom Sun 06-Dec-15 23:44:14

yes and no, depends on the circumstances. Dont know if law has changed or different in England but when we went through the process bio resident parent had to go through the process as well. apparently dc had to be adopted by res parent and step parent. i.e. step parent couldnt just be added. Social work was involved, this was a lengthy enough process. Estranged parent has to give consent. If no problems there will still be costly, we were quoted over £6k in solicitor fees. If estranged parent objects, probably not worth trying to fight it.

MummyZELC Sun 06-Dec-15 23:47:43

Bio mum hasn't seen SD in the flesh since beginning of March. But since last August she spent a total of six weeks living there - after being made to feel she had no choice - and when she returned in March because she was so unhappy at 'mums' and step dad was awful to her she hasn't clapped eyes on her.
I'm willing to do it whatever it takes because SD obviously wants to feel like she has a proper mum and I believe this will affect her well into adulthood. It's so sad confused I cannot EVER imagine saying or doing the things the bio mother has done to my SD to my children - my bio DD or SD. How anyone can want to hurt a child so badly because their hatred of their exh is so bitter is really beyond any normal understanding

harrasseddotcom Mon 07-Dec-15 00:14:29

Doesnt matter if bio mum hasn't seen sd or not. Social worker will visit her and ask her her views. If she does not want to relinquish the title of mother (for whatever reasons) then trying to fight her in court could be a long expensive and ultimately pointless battle. Although in the long wrong if she is truely a shite mother and is cunty about it your SD will see this and I would assume act accordingly. Adoption is but a bit of paper and its the actual physical act of being there and doing the day to day duties that earns the true moniker of parent.

titchy Mon 07-Dec-15 08:21:58

You adopting her won't change the fact that her bio mother is a piece of work. She needs help dealing with that not a long drawn out legal process which probably won't give the result you want.

Do you have PR for her? That might be enough to demonstrate your permanence in her life?

aginghippy Mon 07-Dec-15 10:45:33

I think you are right that dsd's situation will affect her well into adulthood, but that will be the case whether or not you and your dh go down the legal route.

Assuming you are in England, there are other ways for you to acquire parental responsibility for your dsd that are less costly and less intrusive than adoption. Have a look at or

MummyZELC Mon 07-Dec-15 11:11:30

Thank you. I will look into that, I think she will feel that me having PR will be the same as adopting her. I know I can never undo her bio mothers awful behaviour but I am willing to do whatever it takes to make her feel better

tribpot Mon 07-Dec-15 21:13:46

Is she getting any counselling? She really needs that type of support, whilst I completely sympathise with her desire to sever ties with her mother permanently.

MummyZELC Mon 07-Dec-15 21:44:56

Yeah I'm on top with all that, it's just something she wants to do and I'm more than willing to do it. I can't imagine how she must feel - how any parent can deliberately hurt their own child is beyond me. She must believe her own lies ( that she tells everyone else) or have absolutely no conscience whatsoever.

tribpot Tue 08-Dec-15 07:47:12

I guess it's not that unusual for a father to just abandon his children but more often when he is the non-resident parent and may have been playing a minor role in his child's life already. I certainly don't think all NRPs play a minor role, and I don't underestimate the trauma it leaves behind - my own dad played a poor role in my childhood and it certainly leaves scars.

But her mother's actions do appear to be acts of deliberate, petty cruelty designed to hurt a child who is capable of understanding that they are both deliberate and petty, if you see what I mean. A younger child might accept that 'mummy isn't able to look after you' or similar as a reason without question but a 15 year old knows perfectly well this is an act calculated to inflict psychological damage on the person she should love most in the world.

I would certainly want to go through adoption in the same circumstances, as the ultimate 'fuck you' to the birth parent. It's a shame you can't divorce your parents!

I'm very sorry she is going through this.

Penfold007 Tue 08-Dec-15 07:55:32

Your applying for PR and making sure DSD has plenty of support is likely to be more useful to her than the expensive and stressful adoption process. A application from your DH for child support might be appropriate.

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