DO STEPPARENTS HAVE ANY RIGHTS TO THE CHILDREN?
Posted: June 17, 2017
In Missouri, a stepparent’s ability to make decisions on behalf of a stepchild is quite limited.
Unless a stepparent legally adopts a stepchild, he or she do not have a legal right to make legal and medical decisions on behalf of their stepchild. In addition, stepparents have no right to make a decision regarding what school the stepchild attends. Alas, the decisions and opinions of any stepparent cannot overrule the rights of a biological parent or guardian to make choices on behalf of their children.
However, a stepparent owes a stepchild the same “duty of care” in their home as with any child who is visiting or staying on the premises. But in the event of an emergency situation that occurs in the stepparent’s home, he or she still cannot give legal authorization for medical treatment of a stepchild without the biological parent(s) or legal guardian(s)’ consent.