family in the sun
Unsplash | Austin Lowman

A Stepfather Only Wants To Adopt One Of His Stepchildren And People See His Point

When it comes to marrying someone who has kids from a previous relationship, things can be rather complicated in the world of parenting. For some families, things blend together seamlessly. For other families, things can be rather complicated and difficult to assess and handle. Sometimes, new parents tend to adopt the children from previous marriages and relationships, to bring the families together fully.

Recently, one Reddit user opened up about wanting to adopt one of his wife's children.

dad brushing daughter's hair
Unsplash | OPPO Find X5 Pro

The Reddit user shared he and his wife have been together for five years and married for two. His wife has two children, James(15) and Becky(8), from a previous marriage. Recently, Becky told the Reddit user that she wants him to adopt her. Their father is absent and not involved in their life.

Becky claims that she looks at the Reddit user as her father anyway.

young girl
Unsplash | javad allahyari

"I've cared for her since she was very small and she thinks of me like her dad so I of course said yes and was willing to start looking into the process legally. My wife was delighted too as apparently Becky had asked her about this first and she knew I'd say yes," he wrote.

His wife said, however, that if he adopts Becky, he also has to adopt James.

guy thinking
Unsplash | Jeremy Perkins

The Reddit user said he doesn't want to adopt James because James absolutely doesn't see him as a father.

"He's never liked me and has no interest in bonding with me. He won't come on one-on-one days out with me and never really has, will barely speak to me, doesn't want me to come to his school sports, doesn't want me to know about his life or his friends or his hobbies etc.," he said.

The few times he has tried to bond, he said it was terrible.

teenage guy upset
Unsplash | Christian Erfurt

"The few times I've managed to convince him to come somewhere with me out of necessity, he seemed like the unhappiest kid ever and so I've stopped forcing it now," he wrote.

The Reddit user explained he thinks James wouldn't want him to adopt him anyway.

adoption paperwork
Unsplash | Dimitri Karastelev

His wife, however, said that it was wrong to adopt Becky and not adopt James. She says that if he adopts one kid and not the other, she's excluding James from the family and making him feel left out of the dynamic. His wife says if he doesn't adopt James, he cannot adopt Becky.

The Reddit user asked if he was truly wrong for the way he feels.

teenage boy
Unsplash | Talen de St. Croix

Many said that the Reddit user wasn't wrong, but he should talk to James as he is 15 and old enough to truly make a decision on his own and talk to him about it.

Others felt that his wife was manipulating him.

not great gif
Giphy | Emil AssergÄrd

"Chances are she's more interested in having her picture-perfect complete family. By having Becky ask, and then forcing you to adopt BOTH of them, by emotionally manipulating you, else you hurt Becky, she's assuming you'll fold, adopt BOTH of them, and then her kids both have a new dad," shared Balorio.

Some thought it was unfair to James, too.

make a choice
Unsplash | Jon Tyson

"If James is told that Becky’s adoption is predicated on him also agreeing, it will come off as extremely manipulative and trying to force him to agree to something he doesn’t want for his sister’s sake. Adoption should be offered to James but should be entirely his choice," shared another person.

Many others pointed out that James is old enough for a court to ask him.

court of law
Unsplash | Tingey Injury Law Firm

When it comes to adoption, if a child is old enough, a judge will ask their opinion on the matter. If James truly doesn't want to be adopted and shows hesitation, a judge will say no in a court of law.

One person did, however, point out that there are reasons behind adopting both children.

objection gif
Giphy | Wolf Entertainment

"I think people are focusing on the picture-perfect complete family when adoption is important and comes with legal ramifications that everyone is ignoring," shared frostysbox. The Reddit user pointed out that if Becky is adopted and not James, things get very messy.

Essentially, if the children have different "legal" fathers if anything happens, they are split up.

siblings
Unsplash | Limor Zellermayer

"James' dad is alive. If Becky is adopted, and the mother dies, the kids will be split up," they said. In addition, they added that they would have different next of kin, and also have issues with trusts, wills, and inheritances down the line. All legal matters would separate the two siblings.

Tricky stuff!