How to Adopt a Stepchild in Pennsylvania

You’ve just gotten married. Your new spouse has kids from a previous marriage, but at this point, you think of them as your kids too. Unfortunately, the law has other ideas, at least when it comes to child custody. Unless you adopt your new stepson or stepdaughter, you have no legal rights where they’re concerned. Under the law, it’s only biological parents who have these rights, including the freedom to make medical or legal decisions on the child’s behalf. And if you and your new spouse divorce, issues like custody and visitation become trickier. You two might work out a visitation schedule and have a custody agreement, but they can alter it at any time without your say-so. But this isn’t an issue in situations where a stepparent legally adopts their stepchildren. How to Adopt a Child in Pennsylvania When most people think of adopting a child, they might think of working with an agency, or through the foster system. But adoption is also the…

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