Making Stepparent Adoptions Easy

Many times blended families view adopting a stepchild as a good way to make the new relationship even stronger and more cohesive. Fortunately, stepparent adoption is a fairly easy in most states.

Stepparent adoptions don’t usually require the same inspection such as home studies and lengthy hearings, as do outside adoptions by unrelated third parties. Of course, there is still paperwork to be completed and the adoption must be approved by the court. However, much, if not most, of the initial exploration is usually not necessary as it is for outside adoptions.

For any adoption, consent must be obtained from the non-custodial biological parent. If that parent refuses consent and has strong ties with the child, the stepparent adoption will likely be denied. On the other hand, if the biological parent is not known (as with a father) or has abandoned the child, usually for a period of one year, most adoptions are granted. Abandonment basically means no regular quality time with the child. The occasional phone call or birthday card does not constitute quality time.

Seriously consider whether it is the best thing for the child before pursuing a stepparent adoption. It may be seen it as a great way to bring your new family closer together. But also understand that the child may not want to break ties with his birth parent. Once an adoption is granted, the biological parent will no longer have parental rights and all legally allowed visitations will stop. If the child and biological parent sustain regular communication and have a strong relationship, an adoption could cause emotional and psychological harm to the child. Each decision is unique to the child and family, but the welfare of the child should always be the deciding factor in any decision.

If you are considering a stepparent adoption and want to avoid using an attorney and large fees, there is no better source then Stepparent Adoption Forms. We have just what you need and provide support along the process, all for an amazingly low fee.


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Saving for College with

You’ve united your family by adopting your step-child as your own. Good on you! Now there are things to consider for the future of the child.  One huge one is college, no matter what their age might be at the time of adoption. It’s expensive, no question. Unfortunately, few families with minor children are currently saving money for college – or at the least, not enough. About half are setting aside money in a designated account, but most are saving less than $20,000 – that’s not going to cover very much. So, how can you be prepared to cover the cost of a higher education?

Here’s a scary thought. Families with young children can expect to pay more than $400,000 for a 4-yeardegree. Tuition has been increasing at about a rate of 7% per yearly. While you’re sitting down contemplating this, here are some things that can help.

Understand that any amount saved is better than nothing at all. And, the earlier families start planning and saving, the better. Let’s review reviewing some of the available college saving options, and some other methods families can use to save money to help pay for college that may not be as conventional.

One type of savings plan for college is called a 529 Plan. There are two types of 529 plans available. There is a very popular pre-paid tuition plan which lets parents lock in today’s college tuition rates at in-state public colleges and some out-of-state and private colleges. You would buy credits for tuition that can be used in the future.  Most plans are guaranteed by the state’s government, so there isn’t a lot of risk involved.

The second type of 529 Plan is a college savings plan. Here, parents invest in mutual funds and like kinds of investments. The value of the account will rise and fall with the market. Parents can invest outside of their home state and can use the funds at any college.  Most every state has a 529 Plan, researching the available options and comparison of features and benefits is a good course of action.

For more flexibility than a 529 Plan, a Coverdell Education Savings Account allows parents to save for educational expenses with tax-deferred growth, and usually has lower operating fees. Per the IRS as of 2020, contributions of up to $2,000 per year are allowed, assuming the parents meet the income eligibility requirements. Accounts may be set up for any child under the age of eighteen at any bank in the United States.

Some other opportunities to save for college are the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) and the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA). They are custodial accounts that are set up for a child. There is no yearly contribution limit.  However, a custodial account could affect a child’s eligibility for federal financial aid because the account will actually be in the child’s name. When the child reaches the age of consent, 18 to 21 they will have full control of the money, including how it is spent.

There a few other options with which to attack the college fund, such as two types of savings bonds that are suited for college savings, the Series EE and the Series I.  These savings bonds offer a dependable, low-risk way to save for college that is backed by the government. The bonds can be procured online in any amount between $25 and $10,000 each.

For inexpensive, reliable and professional stepparent adoption forms will assist you in uniting your family – without paying thousands to a lawyer.

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