It is commonplace for divorced couples to set up home with a new partner. In many cases, this is beneficial for the child – once they get used to the change – as it helps to provide a stable family environment. But no matter how closely a step-parent becomes involved in the lives of their partner’s child, or how much they contribute to their upbringing, a step-parent does not automatically gain parental responsibility over the child.
This is particularly relevant when it comes to the day-to-day care of step-children. For instance, if a step-parent is looking after their step-child during the school holidays and the step-child has an accident and needs serious and urgent medical treatment, the step-parent cannot give consent for the treatment. Such consent can only be given by someone with parental responsibility.
If a step-parent chooses to adopt their step-child, they will step into the shoes of a natural parent, and assume all rights and responsibilities of a natural parent.
Alternatively, a step-parent can also gain some rights by applying to Court to be appointed as a Legal Guardian to their step-child.
Call us at 62203400 for a consultation if you wish to adopt your step-child or wish to be appointed as their Legal Guardian. Our lawyers at Yeo Law will explain the consequence of each procedure to you and help you through the process.