1. What made you want to adopt?
"We chose to do a step parent adoption as the final legal detail in an already established father/daughter relationship. My husband and I were married when my daughter was 2 and she has never known anyone else but him as her father and we felt it was important for all of us to be a cohesive family sharing one last name."
2. What was your process like when going through the steps of adoption?
"A bit nerve racking, but we had faith and confidence that we were doing the right thing".
3. How long had the child been a part of your family before making the adoption final?
"She is my birth daughter and my husband came into our lives right after her 2nd birthday".
4. How did you come to the decision to adopt? Did your daughter get a vote?
"Our daughter does not know she is adopted. Someday when she is old enough to understand, we will casually address it, but she is at a tender age and all she needs to know is that she has a mom, dad and three siblings that love her unconditionally and forever".
5. What does it mean to you now that your daughter has become a part of your family?
"To us it was simply the final step that confirmed we are all one family unit".
6. How has your life been different since the adoption has been finalized?
"Not different at all. We do all the same things together that we always have. She still has homework and a bedtime. :) "
7. Any advice for people looking to step parent adopt in the future?" It's a wonderful thing to unite a family with unconditional love. It's kind of a second chance for the family and more importantly for the child to experience all that may have not been possible with their birth parent. Step parent adoption is not for everyone and it's a decision that should not be taken lightly. My husband and I are committed to the ups and downs not only of parenting, but also in our marriage, we want to ensure that we are Godly parents to our children and we are responsible for showing them a loving environment and Christian morals".
8. Anything special you would like to share about what your experience has been like and how your family and life has changed or not changed?
"I feel so very blessed to have such a wonderful family and a husband who unconditionally loves and supports us. There was a time in my life I did not make the best choices, but with God we have been given forgiveness and he has turned these trials into a beautiful and complete family. It takes anyone to be a biological donor, but it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to be a parent. Those who are willing to do the job should be able to become not only emotionally, physically and financially responsible, but also legally and we are thankful my husband is able to now share all of these with our daughter".
*This is a pseudonym for an actual client of Karen S. Law, Esquire. Interview conducted by Brittany Alness, July 2013.