Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Making it easier for step-parents to adopt in Massachusetts

In the event of a divorce, a spouse often remarries and a step-parent enters the life of the child. When this occurs, the step-parent may have difficulty dealing with the children. It is also believed that step-parent adoption may occur, but before that, a step-parent needs to learn how to develop a good relationship with the child.

Massachusetts residents may be aware of the challenges of becoming a step-parent. In some cases, the family dynamics with a step parent may be strained and the resentments may last, even in adulthood. However, this can be prevented if step-parents can build a good relationship with their step-children.

Step-parenting is difficult, which is why a step-parent needs determination and patience. A step-parent should understand that the child's behavior could be due to adjustment and the step-parent needs to be mature enough to build a relationship with the children no matter what. Patience is an important characteristic when dealing with a child's misbehavior.Becoming a step-parent means that person has the responsibility of raising and disciplining the child. Harsh parenting may not be the best method. It is important to discuss family problems and share solutions with the spouse. When a step-parent treats the child as their own, it establishes a good relationship in the family. With this, the step-parent's relationship with the child can be achieved and step-parent adoption procedures may proceed smoothly.

Step-parent adoptions are intended to legalize the relationship between a step-parent and a child. This adoption is only achievable with the consent of the biological parent. When consent is given, it also means that the responsibilities, rights and the guardianship of the child are incorporated with the consent. Additionally, the child adopted by the step-parent has the same legal right of child support and inheritance.

Source:, "Making step parenting easy" Aaliya Imtiaz, Oct. 16, 2012

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