My name is Madison and I’m 17, I also have a 14 year old sister named Syd. My step dad is an amazing man, more of a father than my actual dad. My biological dad is barely in my life but I hate being around him, he’s not a father, he’s a 40 year old ass who I’m tied to. He’s selfish, rude, only cares about himself, and has the mind set of someone who is 25. I want my Stepdad to adopt me as his legal daughter, no more STEP dad. I don’t want him to be belittled by teachers and the legal system because he’s my ‘Stepdad’ and not actual dad. I just want him as my legal father. I don’t know how my dad would feel about that, he only has daughters when it’s convenient to him, like when he wants to pick up chicks at a bar and wants to be seen as a “family man”. I don’t know what the rules about that would be though. I’ve been doing so much research on this and I just want answers and I want to know the laws and facts on this before I seriously bring this up to my mom and Stepdad. Can my biological dad stop the adoption because he’s “in our lives”? Please help. Madison in Texas
Stepfather adoption is common in the US and Canada. In most (if not all) US states the biological father would be required to relinquish his parental rights. This means he’d have to sign a document giving permission for your Stepdad to adopt you. I see you’re in Texas. In that state the state the document you need is called an “affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights”.
Be ready for your father to refuse to allow adoption. People can be territorial at times. He’ll likely see this as an insult on some level. But don’t worry. At seventeen, you’re nearly an adult. If you still feel this way at 18 you can change your last name to your Stepdad’s. As an adult you don’t need your father’s permission. In reality, a name change is much less costly in most states than adoption.
No matter how it goes I’m certain your Stepdad will be touched that you feel this way. Asking him to adopt you is a wonderful gesture. It will make it clear to him that he’s mattered in your life. Good Stepdads aren’t made my accident. They have a hard job and have to work at it. As you mentioned, society and the legal system don’t even see them as real parents.
Adoptions can cost thousands of dollars. But there are ways of reducing the cost. If your father is willing to sign off on the adoption you can do it for a lot less without the help of an attorney. I recommend using myadoptionforms.com. You can get all you need to complete the adoption for a fraction of what it would cost to use a lawyer.
No matter what happens I’m sure your Stepdad will be touched by the fact that you see him as your dad. Your love and respect for him was surely earned. You’re part of the same family now. It’s amazing what years of shared experiences and memories can do.
If you need more information on adoption contact a local lawyer specializing in family law. Many attorneys will answer initial questions without charging. Just ask if they have a free initial consultation.