Step-parent adoption - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-15-2006, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's my situation:
I got PG with my daughter when I was 16 by a 22 year old man that has never supported us or been there for his kids (he's got another one with another woman). We lived with him for a year when she was a baby until he became abusive and my daughter and I moved in with my mom. I allowed him to see her after that (supervised by me or his mom) when he was in town which was not often but he wasn't interested unless I agreed to be with him again. I said no. After that he became abusive again and I had to get a protection order on him, I refused to let my daughter be around him at all. the last time he saw/talked to her was 2 days before her 4th birthday. She's mentioned him twice, and we talked about him casually, and it was fine. Since then, I've gotten married to a WONDERFUL, loving, man and he has been everything i always wanted for my daughter and I. She calls him dad or by his name, depending on where we are or how she feels, and she knows that he's going to adopt her very soon and is very excited to all have the same last name. She refers to her bio-dad by his real name and understands that he is no longer in her life and expresses no want or need to see him.
I'm now pregnant with my second child and am worried that my daughter (who is now 6 years) will feel "different" or left out because she knows that she doesn't have the same blood. Is she going to grow up with a complex? Anyone have advice or a similar situation?:
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#2 of 7 Old 10-15-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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I don't have any great advice, but we are in a similar situation. My daughter (technically my stepdaughter) is 2.5 and her "Angel Mommy" died in a car accident when she was a tiny baby. Now her dad and I are marrying (on Sat!) and I will be adopting her soon after to forever formalize our relationship.

But she calls me Mommy, and I am there for the screaming tantrums, poopy diapers, snuggly sick days and the sudden, "I love Mommy!" yelps.
That makes me a mommy, not the fact that I have never been pregnant or nursed her.

But I know what you mean about worrying about how she will feel about our family and future children. Some things we did: we chose to marry sooner, as we were already living together, and then I could legal adopt Abby sooner too. I also chose to have a small diamond (Abby's birthstone) placed on the inside of the band of my engagement ring as a symbol that she was a joyful and precious element in our relationship and decision to marry as a family. I have written a vow to Abby and will give her a ring at our wedding, promising to be her unconditional mommy and to help her know her Angel Mommy as best I can.

We are also trying to conceive #2 so there will not be a big gap between Abby and other kids.

One thing we did when we first dating was change our mindset. Instead of talking about "our" children and Abby. e.g. "when we have our first baby" We moved to "when we have our NEXT baby" as Abby is "our firstborn" regardless of the fact that I did not birth her.

I can't say that this will create a less conflicted Abby, but that is the goal. We really want to stablize and normalize our family as quickly as possible. But we also have the standard that we talk about how much "Angel Mommy" loves Abby, and have some of her things around, so we talk about her a lot and that will never be an ackward or unwelcome topic.



Bridget, wifey-to-be to Rich (10/21/06) Mommy to my (soon to be formally) adopted Abby (4/15/04) : FT social worker while hubby finishes grad school, plotting a SAHM transition and starting with a : revolution while TTC #2 : and up a storm
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#3 of 7 Old 10-16-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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Your child may feel different, but all kids feel different somehow. My older sibs were my mom's step children, I;m sure they felt "different" but I felt different,too, for different reasons. Anyway, your daughter can feel adored, special, and part of a wonderful family, but a little different, too. By the time she's 10, half of her friends will have stepmoms/stepdads/dad's girlfriends/half sisters/etc. In our family, we try to normalize these things rather than ignore them. I don't call myself dss's mom, because I'm his stepmom, I love him, he's lucky to have more than one mom, and our relationship is special, though maybe "different."

Would her biofather give up parental rights? What would change if she is adopted? Will she feel bad that her biofather gave her up? I haven't known a kid who REALLY didn't care about their bioparent. Even if they don't see them, they seem to like the idea that the other parent wants them and loves them (regardless of the truth/situation).
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#4 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the support, first of all!

As for her bio-dad, even when he was "seeing" her, he wasn't ever there for her emotionally or otherwise. I would go to work after bringing her to him and then come home to find his mother watching her while he slept upstairs the whole time. he would call her over so he could sleep. They never really bonded or had special time together. to be honest, she was afraid of him most of the time due to his violent and unpredictable temper, and she seemed relieved when he stopped coming around. that was two years ago and he hasn't made much effort at all to change things except when his girlfriends would make him feel bad so he would make some kind of gesture that seems genuine but never follows through with any of it.

I don't really know how my daughter feels about it because I've always had my dad in my life and know very well that he cares about me. she and i talk about bio-dad occasionally and i never make a big deal out of it or say bad things about him but i think she understands that he wasn't a good person for us. especially now that she's had her stepdad in her life who is completely positive and she knows that he loves her.

and as for the adoption, i'm assuming that her bio-dad will put up some kind of fuss about it just because he's that kind of person but for one thing, he never signed her birth certificate, never has paid child support, hasn't seen or asked to see her in two years, and i've been told that the courts favor step parent adoption over giving rights to dead beat parents with a record for neglegence.
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#5 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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I've heard the opposite. I've heard they rarely take away parental rights.

You know your daughter best, of course, but with ds, his biomom was similar to the description you give of your childs bioparent and he still had a longing for her that he'd never share with dh and I. Of course I'm a wonderful stepmom, but that didn't at all change his need to connect with his biomom. She's a lot better now, btw, and I'm glad we didn't do anything drastic at a bad time.
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#6 of 7 Old 10-19-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazi'smom View Post
Here's my situation:
I got PG with my daughter when I was 16 by a 22 year old man that has never supported us or been there for his kids (he's got another one with another woman). We lived with him for a year when she was a baby until he became abusive and my daughter and I moved in with my mom. I allowed him to see her after that (supervised by me or his mom) when he was in town which was not often but he wasn't interested unless I agreed to be with him again. I said no. After that he became abusive again and I had to get a protection order on him, I refused to let my daughter be around him at all. the last time he saw/talked to her was 2 days before her 4th birthday. She's mentioned him twice, and we talked about him casually, and it was fine. Since then, I've gotten married to a WONDERFUL, loving, man and he has been everything i always wanted for my daughter and I. She calls him dad or by his name, depending on where we are or how she feels, and she knows that he's going to adopt her very soon and is very excited to all have the same last name. She refers to her bio-dad by his real name and understands that he is no longer in her life and expresses no want or need to see him.
I'm now pregnant with my second child and am worried that my daughter (who is now 6 years) will feel "different" or left out because she knows that she doesn't have the same blood. Is she going to grow up with a complex? Anyone have advice or a similar situation?:
Not to go into a very long story because it's LONG and dramatic, but....

I am a step mother to our son who has not seen his biomother in 3 years. She has lost all visitation rights but not parental. We have had zero contact from her or her family. My ds is 8 but was 5 when the judge made his ruling due to her lifestyle. She's had two more babies (my ds was her firstborn and oldest in both families) since taken away because she did crystal meth while preg. Our ds only knows about one of them since he had no contact when the other one was conceived or born. We found out through the grapevine.

He always called me by my first name when he had supervised visits with her. I was ok with that and was trying my best to make the transition of him living with us as easy as possible. We were told at 11pm one night to come get him and that was it. He's lived with us ever since. That was almost 5 years ago. We had already had my first dd and she was a baby when we got him. BIG change. He did wonderfully adjusting to a new sibling. So, when I got preg w/our second dd, I had to remember to call her my 3rd child. Soon after his mother lost visitation, he began calling me Mom. It was great and he still does and even asks me why I have not adopted him. I told him that I have. I told him that God gave him to me, which I believe He did and that I have birthed him spiritually, not physically. We talk about how I've raised him, hold him when he's cried or is sick. It was my name and now, Mom when he cries or needs nurturing in the night.

As far as the rights thing goes, it shouldn't be too hard to get the adoption, there are just a few legal things that have to be proven first.

Children are resilient and the most loving people. I think she will adjust to the new baby just fine. Make her a part of everything and she will transition well. Children don't tend to think about the blood issue as much as we do. Call her big sister and she will never know the diff. It'll be wonderful
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#7 of 7 Old 10-20-2006, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AllinHisTime~
Thanks SO much for the encouragement. It sounds like you've got a great and loving family. I do too, and it makes me terrified to think of what would happen if my daughter's bio-dad were allowed to be involved. But then again, he is legally allowed to be in BOTH his daughter's lives and has chosen not too.

I'm sure things will work out, it's just hard to think that way all the time!
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