FamilyLife Blended®

Ron L. Deal

Stepparents & the Law 2

May 27, 2020

You may have a deep bond with your stepchild, but you can’t give permission for a dental cleaning.

Family law in the U.S. says a child can only have two parents. So, outside of legally adopting a stepchild, stepparents of 15 years have fewer rights than foster parents of a couple of weeks. And, if you want to leave your stepchildren an inheritance, you better have a will because intestacy and probate laws don’t recognize them as valid recipients. What’s the point? When it comes to stepfamilies and the law, don’t make any assumptions.

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About FamilyLife Blended®

FamilyLife Blended® provides  biblically-based resources that help prevent re-divorce, strengthen stepfamilies, and help break the generational cycle of divorce.

About Ron L. Deal

Ron L. Deal is the Director of blended family ministries at FamilyLife®, and is the author/coauthor of the books The Smart StepfamilyThe Smart Stepdad, The Smart Stepmom, Dating and the Single Parent, and The Remarriage Checkup. Ron voices the FamilyLife Blended short feature and is one of the most widely read authors on stepfamily living in the country. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist who frequently appears in the national media, including FamilyLife Today® and Focus on the Family, and he conducts marriage and family seminars around the countryRon and his wife, Nan, have been married since 1986 and have three boys.

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