• Rights on step daughter

My cousin married a Widower who already had a little daughter. She raised the little daughter as her own and nurtured her with all affection. She did not want to become a biological mother as she wanted to give her undivided care and affection to the existing non-biological daughter.

Now there is a misunderstanding between the husband and also with the inlaws and she is in a verge of a divorce. She is only hanging in with the marriage for her attachment and affection of the non-bio daughter. Does she have any legal rights on the daughter if she is separated due to divorce
Asked 3 months ago in Family Law from Australia
Religion: Hindu
1) step mother died not have any legal rights on step daughter in the event of divorce 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
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1. Has she taken the said step daughter in adoption to be called her adopting mother?

2. If no, then she will have no claim on the custody of her said step daughter or any other legal claim  if she gets divorced from her husband.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12123 Answers
231 Consultations
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Since she has brought up her husband's daughter as her own daughter she has all the rights which accrue to a biological mother. She can file a petition for child custody and she may also get it if she proves that she is better placed than her husband to secure the welfare of the child. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
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For her to adopt the girl she has raised as her daughter the biological father of the girl will have to execute an adoption deed in her favour.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
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What is the age of daughter ? 

2) deed of adoption has to be executed by the biological father in favour of the step
Mother wherein daughter is given on adoption to the step mother .it should record that there has been giving and taking ceremony wherein adoption has taken place 

3) please note that if daughter is over 15 years of age it cannot be given in adoption  unless there is custom to that effect in the community 

4) adoption feed should be registeted 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
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1. For taking a child in adoption, the consent of his/her biological parents are required to be taken,

2. In the instant case only the biological father of the child is alive who is eventually your estranged husband,

3. In such cases normally adoption deed is registered after marriage with the widower or widow is over to avoid any future problem,

4. You shall have to take the written consent/NOC from the living father of the child and register an Adoption Deed to complete the process of adoption  for which you shall face a problem now since her father being your husband now may disagree to give her to ou in adoption as her adoptive mother,

5. If her father agrees, then it is only a one day job to get an adoption deed registered. 
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12123 Answers
231 Consultations
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if daughter's age is below 15 years she can adopt it otherwise not, consent of father is necessary but if she shows that :
adoption is in the interest of the child.
she has enough means to take her care.
child also wants to live with her. 

she has to file a suit before the court of district judge. it will take about 6 months to decide. 
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2752 Answers
41 Consultations
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She will be a stepmother to the daughter of her husband.

Once her marriage with her husband is dissolved she will lose that status too since she is not having any legal rights on the step daughter.

She cannot even try to adopt the daughter without the permission of her biological father.

The sentimental reasons namely her love and affection to this daughter has no answer in law.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
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127 Consultations
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Can you please let me know the requisites or procedures involved in getting the daughter adopted? Is it very lengthy and hard process?

The adoption can be made by both the biological parents or at least by the child's biological father.  
The adoption can be made to the divorcee too by the child's biological father himself since he is the widower, but he has to consent for this.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14069 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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