A stepfather is the husband of someone's mother by a later marriage. If a mother gets a divorce from the child's father or becomes a widow, she may marry another man who becomes her child's stepfather.Know More
A stepfather and his stepchildren are not genetically related. It is also possible that the child's stepfather has children from a previous marriage. In this case, the stepfather's children become the stepbrother or stepsister of the mother's children.
The traditional definition of a stepfather has applied to a married man who has children from his wife's previous relationship living with him. Recently, however, this definition has expanded and can now be used to refer to a cohabiting couple, even if the mother does not marry her new partner. Some families even use the term for the new father of a non-custodial mother. It is rarely used, however, to describe a mother's husband who has never lived in a home with the mother's children.
It is possible for a stepfather to legally adopt his stepchildren. In this case, the man becomes the children's legal guardian and often chooses to stop using the terms stepson or stepdaughter to refer to his children. The children may also drop the step- and refer to the man as their father if they choose to do so.Learn More
Children generally may not refuse visitations with parents; courts make exceptions only if visitations are not in the children's best interests. Typically, courts at the local, state and federal levels give visitation rights to non-custodial parents. They allow parents no longer living with the children to visit at scheduled times, provided visits do not pose physical or emotional harm to children, and require visitations for specified periods of time.Full Answer >
According to the 7th Judicial Circuit Court of Clay County, Mo., custody is a legal arrangement made by the court for the parents of a minor child. Guardianship is a court-ordered arrangement for the care of a minor child by a qualified third party. Guardianship is assigned to a qualified adult when a minor's parents are unwilling or unable to fulfill their obligations as parents.Full Answer >
Texas does not have a legal definition of how old a child must be to be left home alone. The National SAFE KIDS Campaign suggest that kids should not be left alone if they are 11 years old or younger.Full Answer >
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Child Welfare Information Gateway is an excellent online tool to get started when looking for information on adoption. The gateway features information on domestic and inter-country adoption. Its resources contain a wealth of information on adopting, especially from the U.S. Foster Care System.Full Answer >