Many times when parents first inquire about a stepparent adoption, the non-custodial parent is still somewhat involved in the child’s life. Either through child support checks alone, or perhaps sporadic visits here and there. One of the first questions that is asked, is how to get rid of the non-custodial parent, so that the stepparent can adopt the child involved.
Sometimes the non-custodial parent is in jail, or is abusive and the custodial parent is trying to move on with his or her life, and provide a stable home-life for his or her children. Yet there are cases, more than one would think, where a custodial parent is looking to purposely remove an involved parent from the life of the child, because the parent is not interested in dealing with the non-custodial parent any longer and wishes for his or her new spouse to adopt the child, just so that he or she no longer has to have contact with their ex.
This is not the way to go about a stepparent adoption! A parent should not be removed from the life of his or her child, simply because the adults no longer wish to deal with one another any longer. This is the very reason that our own parents sat us down as teenagers,(or younger) explained the birds and the bees to us, and warned us to be careful when it came to who we chose to go to bed with. Having a child ties us to the other biological parent for the rest of our lives, like it or not, and simply because the parents have grown out of favor in each others eyes, does not give one the right to decide that the other no longer gets to be a mommy or a daddy any longer.
Now, I am not saying that there are not cases when a parent needs to be removed from their child’s life. Sadly there are parents out there who cannot get their lives on track and be a positive influence on the life of their child. It happens, I know. However, I also know that there are families out there who do their best to drive the non-custodial parent away, making visitations impossible with one stunt or another, or do their best to turn the child against their non-custodial parent.
If you are in a situation where you are thinking of ways to ‘get rid’ of the non-custodial parent so that you may pursue a stepparent adoption, than stepparent adoption is not the right choice for you. If the non-custodial parent is doing things that are not safe for the child to be around, the courts will easily terminate their parental rights, and grant a stepparent adoption. If ways need to be thought up as to how to get rid of a parent, than that parent doesn’t need to be gotten rid of. If it comes down to thinking outside the box to come up with ways to keep the non-custodial parent out of the child’s life, then the non-custodial parent can’t be doing anything all that bad, besides grating on the nerves of the custodial parent.
Forcing a parent out of a child’s life simply due to the parents inability to stomach each other for any length of time, will accomplish one, and only one thing in the end, and that is hurting the child that the parent initially set out to protect.