22 answers

Can a Step Parent Adoption Be Reversed?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this, but I promised my daughter I'd look into it.

When I got remarried, my husband adopted my daughter who was 8 at that time. Her birth father suggested the adoption, and my new husband was willing. We discussed it with my daughter and told her that the choice was hers. I told her repeatedly that she shouldn't do it just for my sake, but only if she wanted to. She agreed to the adoption and we got it done quickly and painlessly with her birth father's consent.

Fast forward to 7 years later. My husband and I are divorced after 4 years of marriage, we have a second child together who is now 5. My ex definitely shows favoritism to his natural child and treats his adopted child like the enemy. No matter what she does or says, he has some criticism about it. He's constantly finding an excuse to punish her. I honestly think the only reason he wants her in his life at all is because it's the responsibility he took on, and not because he loves her. And of course, now she says that she only agreed to it to make me happy.

She begs me to let her stay home every time it's his night/weekend to have them. Of course, that's not an option because we have to follow the divorce decree. It would just make matters worse if I tried to defy the courts. But, it almost always ends with either her or I crying as I drop them off for the time with Dad.

She's asked me to find out if there's a way that she can write a letter to the judge that approved her adoption asking him to reverse it, or some kind of filing we can do to dissolve a step-parent adoption. All of the googling I've done has gotten me very little information. Does anyone out there know if there's a way to free her of this man? And, since I still have to parent another child with him for 13 years, I'm trying to not get in the middle. Is there a way she can do this on her own?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't know if it can be reversed... but maybe you can change the visitation rights? I know that for a while when I was younger I HATED going to my mom's house, so instead I would go to my grandma's. (Unless my mom pushed the point, then I HAD to go to her house...) At 15 you DD should be able to speak to the judge on her own behalf... You might even document the way he is treating her (if there is any way for you to do that) as 'proof' that it isn't beneficial for her to be there...

3 moms found this helpful

My step daughter was 15 when she desided that she reather live with her mother. We were not for it but soon found out that there was nothing we could do about. Even throgh her dad had custody. He threaten to get the police involved to make her obey the visitation order. Well they will not inforce it, they do not get involved. We live in the same state.
So if my moth is correct she is 15 you dont have to force her. And I wouldn't

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

She is old enough to refuse to see him. If he wants to take the matter to court she can tell the judge what is wrong. She is 15 if she doesn't want to see him no one can force her to and that includes you.
If you don't want her to run away from home you had better stand by her. You are in the middle. No 8 year old makes a solid choice about a step parent adoption. She was too young to judge the consequences. And you were too in love at the time to realize how your new husband really treated her.

4 moms found this helpful

It doesn't matter if it's with a step-parent or a total stranger desperately wanting a child. An adoption is just the same as if you were to have a child naturally--you are their parent. Period. However, by age 12, most states recognize that the child is old enough to determine what parent they want to live with. If she doesn't want to see her step-father, then she cannot be forced into it. But unfortunately, she's stuck with your ex as her adoptive father forever.

3 moms found this helpful

how could he enforce visitation with a 15 year old? If she doesnt want to go, what can you do, physically force her? I think at 15, it should be up to her, court order or not.

3 moms found this helpful

At 15 she can decide with whom she spends time. No judge or court will force it. Some kids would like to "unadopt" their biological parents, too (my stepchildren for example), but that can't happen...

3 moms found this helpful

Just based off what you wrote, I'm not sure that I agree that she should be allowed to reverse her adoption. No child at 15ish likes their parents. What you're seeing as being favoritism, is it possible that due to her age that her "father" is just doing what he thinks is best as a parent? I completely hated my stepdad at that age, and I'm sure the divorce doesn't help the situation. I would definately look into having the visitation agreement changed, if she truly doesn't want to visit him. All children try to rebel against their parents at some point... Maybe if the visits stop he will realize that his behavior was emotionally hurting his daughter....

3 moms found this helpful

Haven't read the other responses, but my attorney told me that at the age of 11 or 12, children are old enough to decide for themselves whether they want to go with the non'custodial parent or not. You do NOT have to make her.

If he INSISTS, he can ask for a case worker to review the situation, but they RARELY end up forcing ANY child to go.

Put your foot down.

:)

3 moms found this helpful

I don't know if it can be reversed... but maybe you can change the visitation rights? I know that for a while when I was younger I HATED going to my mom's house, so instead I would go to my grandma's. (Unless my mom pushed the point, then I HAD to go to her house...) At 15 you DD should be able to speak to the judge on her own behalf... You might even document the way he is treating her (if there is any way for you to do that) as 'proof' that it isn't beneficial for her to be there...

3 moms found this helpful

in my honest opinion, ALL the parents involved shouldn't have given A CHILD that choice to begin with because of this issue, she was not old enough to make a MATURE, well educated decision on that matter and the prospects of "if divorce happens later" should've been addressed or at least talked about between you and "dad" NOT her.

personally "dad" needs to take responsibility for his actions and his commitment to HIS DAUGHTER, EVERYONE agreed, EVERYONE wanted the adoption and HE needs to treat her as his own as she LEGALLY is.

you can't take away who your mom is or your dad, and an adoption is saying just that "they are like my own, and i will treat them as such, emotionally, AND financially" he probably wouldn't mind getting out because it would mean less child support?? but even still he needs to stand by his commitment he made those many years ago.....regardless if i were you i would not allow the adoption to be reversed, you CAN order him for certain behaviours to take place when they are around him or visitation with BOTH kids can be interfered with.

oklahoma law, 13 + is old enough to decide the kind of visitation they want and who they want to live with in the court system...so sounds like if she's not 13 or if your state has that law, then everyone needs to suck it up until then...or just live with decisions

maybe next time YOU will think harder before allowing someone to adopt your child....the ONLY way i would let an adoption take place is if there is a PRENUPTUAL agreement filed in court that IF a divorce is to occur, the adopted parent WILL pay child support and treat the child as his/her own or if other kids are involved, visitation and parenting rights to ALL children can be hindered

another thing that just fries my @#@$@$ is YOU are considering allowing not 1 but TWO dad's to walk out on her?!!?!!....can you even imagine how she must be feeling...o mi god! poor kid!!!!! my dad walked out on me at 5 and didn't really come back in the picture until after i had my daughter by almost 2 years....i cried daily ALL MY LIFE...just cause she's not showing you her resentful hurting heart doesn't mean its not there, and do you REALLY think she's going to TELL you that she's hurting and feels abandoned not only by her dad but POSSIBLY her mother too for allowing her DADS to walk out on her....

you need to reconsider this....god i'd be FRIED if my ex or my dh EVER mentioned walking out on my daughter and i WOULD not allow that to happen even after an adoption

i'm sorry this has me really fired up....you need help

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