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Couples often ask about the ability for a stepparent to adopt a child. Often one spouse has a child from a previous relationship and the other parent is no longer in the picture. This means that the parent-child relationship forms between the stepparent and the child. In such cases, it is important to take the steps for adoption and thereby allowing the step parent to have legal recognition as the child’s parent. The step parent gains legal rights over the child and the biological parent’s rights are terminated. A petition must be filed with the court to approve the adoption. If everyone consents, including the natural parent whose rights will be terminated, then the step parent adoption is usually approved.