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Stepparents' Rights Archives

Can stepparents make medical decisions for stepchildren?

When an Arizona parent who has a child gets remarried, the stepparent may not know whether or not they can legally consent or refuse to consent for a stepchild's medical care. In order for a minor child to have a medical procedure, a parent or guardian must give informed consent; however, stepparents generally cannot give this.

How parents can resolve child custody issues

For Arizona parents who have ended their marriage, some conflict may remain. A number of issues may arise after the divorce regarding custody and visitation. While any major changes to custody agreements, such as one parent relocating out of state with the child, should go through the court system, many disputes may be negotiated between the parents. If talking about the issue is unsuccessful, parents might then need to turn to a judge.

Many issues must be weighed during stepchild adoption

The legal adoption of a stepchild confers the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent on to the stepparent. When a family in Arizona chooses to adopt a stepchild, a desire to create equality among siblings often motivates the choice. A stepparent might also need the legal right to provide medical consent because of the custodial nature of the relationship. Legal experts recommend that a person consider the pros and cons of stepchild adoption carefully before moving forward.

Stepparent rights

Many stepparents in Arizona have questions about what their legal rights are regarding their stepchildren. The answer to that question largely depends on how involved the child's biological parent is. Generally, however, stepparents do not have legal rights over their stepchildren.

Obtaining consent for a stepparent adoption

A stepparent in Arizona who would like to adopt their stepchild must obtain consent from both of the child's birth parents. This means that the stepparent's spouse and the stepchild's other birth parent must agree to the adoption. If consent from the other birth parent is easily obtained, a stepparent adoption can happen relatively quickly.

How can a stepparent gain custody rights?

In Arizona, it can be difficult for a stepparent to gain custody rights upon a marriage dissolution. Many stepparents develop strong bonds with their partner's children, becoming the child's psychological parent even if the ties are not based upon shared genetics. While difficult, it is still possible for a stepparent to get child custody rights in the state if certain standards are able to be met.

Children just as happy in homes with stepparents, study finds

After parents get divorced, they often worry about the impact it will have on their children. Divorce affects each child in a different way, but many children may feel angry, sad, confused and even resentful. These feelings are common in children after a divorce. In addition to worrying about how the divorce will impact their kids, many parents wonder how getting remarried will affect their relationship with their children. 


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