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A child can have only two legal parents. Since a child cannot legally have three parents, the legal parent will have to voluntarily give up their rights. If a child is adopted by their stepfather, the biological father’s rights as a parent will be legally terminated. If the biological father wants any rights with his child, including visitation rights, he should not consent to his child’s adoption by someone else.

A biological father has stronger legal rights over his child than the child’s stepdad. The law will favor biological fathers over stepfathers. Stepfathers have various options available to strengthen their rights to a stepchild. For instance, stepfathers can obtain a power of attorney from their stepchild’s biological father, put their stepchild into their will and other estate planning documents, and legally adopting your stepchild.

If a couple has been together for a while and the father feel his spouse’s children are really his own, he may want to legalize that bond by adopting the step child. A stepparent’s adoption of the stepchild is one of the most common forms of adoption.If he adopts the step child, he becomes a legal parent to the child in every way. The child can inherit from the parent, the parent could seek custody in case of a divorce, and the parent can make serious decisions about the child’s life regarding things like schooling and health care. Some step parents choose to adopt the step children in order to solidify their family bond.

If the stepfather wishes to adopt the step children and the other biological parent is still alive, the couple will have to seek consent for the adoption from the other parent. That parent will be asked to terminate their parental rights. Termination of parental rights completely severs the legal bond between the parent and the child; the parent will no longer be able to attempt to get custody or visitation, and the parent cannot legally make any major decisions for the child. However, termination of parental rights cannot affect the emotional bond between the biological parent and child.

Some parents have no issue consenting to the adoption; others may refuse to consent. If the parent will not agree to the adoption, The other parent and stepparent may be able to go to court to prove that the other parent had little to no contact or bond with the child, or that the contact that did exist was harmful to the child. If the court finds that allowing the biological parents rights to remain is harmful to the child, they will terminate that parent’s rights.

If you cannot locate the other biological parent in order to ask for consent for adoption, you may be able to waive that consent and continue with the adoption process. It is also important to note that, if the child is of a reasonable age, they will be allowed to give their opinion on the divorce, and the court may require the child’s consent.