Step-Kids Refuse to be Adopted by Stepmom

Gillian Sisley

How much say should children have in their own adoption process?

Blended families are incredibly common in the United States. The US Bureau of Census has found that 16% of all households consist of step families, adopted families, and other blended situations.

With that said, combining households isn't always straightforward. In some cases, stepchildren may not be accepting of their step-parent, or other tensions can arise when two households are trying to become one.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a husband does not disclose to his new wife that his children do not want to be adopted by her, resulting in major conflict when she finds out the truth.

How much say should children have in their own adoption process?

A Reddit post published on June 19th, reported on by Anders Anglesey from Newsweek, has gone viral with 6,300 upvotes and 1,600 comments.

The author begins his posts by unfortunately explaining that his first wife passed away 6 years ago when his three children were only 3, 5, and 6. He went on to remarry just 18 months ago.

He also adds that his new wife has brought up the possibility of potentially adopting his children down the road, however, after talking to his kids they made it clear that they weren't interested in that prospect. They didn't want their late mother's name to no longer be on documents. They only communicated their feelings to their father, rather than their stepmom.

The author states that he eventually ended up talking to his new wife about it, and told her that the answer was going to be no, without disclosing what his children had said, and they discussed it for some time. She was clearly upset, but she didn't push the issue.

With that said, just several weeks later the new wife's parents started asking her about whether or not she would adopt the kids. They expressed how they thought everyone got along well, and that it would be a sweet gift to everyone for the adoption to go through. The author made it clear that this wasn't something they were going to move forward with.

The loss of a parent is an incredibly traumatic experience.

Losing a parent at a young age is very traumatic to a child. This can result in mental health struggles down the line, well into adulthood, as they try to navigate the passing of one of the most influential people in their lives.

The new wife's parents, unsatisfied with their son-in-law's answer, went and directly asked the children why the adoption wouldn't take place. The author's youngest child answered honestly and just said they didn't want to be adopted by their stepmom because of the memory of their mother.

This information eventually got back to the author's new wife, and she was mad at him for not telling her that it was the children who didn't want the adoption to move forward. She was angry that she ‘wasn't given the chance to try and see if there was another way to make the adoption happen’ that would make everyone happy. The author explained to her that he didn't feel it was appropriate to try and find a way around the children's decision.

The author ultimately states that her thinking that they could talk the children into the adoption is one of the biggest reasons he never told her that they weren't interested, to begin with. He believes that she wants to 'fix the situation', while he himself feels that there's nothing to fix. His children are entitled to feel the way they do.

What do you think? Was the author justified in not telling his new wife explicitly that his children didn't want to be adopted by her? Or should he have communicated all of the details to her, even if it would have hurt her feelings?

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