Stepmom Vs Adopted mom.. whats the difference?

Ola - posted on 10/12/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

23

27

0

I feel like a lot of step parents are underminded, I know its sad but the stereo type of a step parent can be bad, but what about the percentage of the step parents who take their jobs seriously, and care for the child/children as if they were their own child. for me I Love my Step daughter I don't even reffer to her as a step daughter she is my everything but it seems in todays society the step parents have o rights, what do you think?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Erica - posted on 10/12/2010

205

30

26

I completly DISAGREE with kate....I have 2 SK also and one is 20 yrs old and has nothing to do with the bio mom. my name was announced at senior night, my name was in the paper for graduation AND IT WAS ALL HIS DESCION. I had no clue it was going to be done until I either saw or heard it....My daughter call both me and her bio mom "MOM". My daughter has been with me since she was 3 yrs old. Again it is not forced it is HER CHOICE. I also have a son from a previouse marriage that calls my husband DAD. SHAME ON YOU for thinking negative about someone else when you dont know there story. I feel by telling the child that they cant call you that you are telling them that you dont love them like your own!!!! We also have ALL of the kids living with us full time so yes it does make a difference....

Kate CP - posted on 10/12/2010

8,942

36

758

Adoptive parents replace the biological parents. Step parents DO NOT replace the biological parents and have NO BUSINESS trying to. Unless the biological parent has given up parents rights to the child a step parent should always, ALWAYS let the biological parent be the mom or dad. If a step child is calling their step parent mom or dad I find that highly inappropriate.

Kate CP - posted on 10/12/2010

8,942

36

758

Okay, I think something big got skipped over in my original response. I said that if a biological parent gives up their rights (be it formally or informally) then the step kids can and in some cases probably should call the step parents mom or dad. But if the biological parents are active in the child's life I think it's wrong to have the child call a step mother "mom". They already have an active, loving, participating mother and the step mother should respect that.

Sarah - posted on 06/01/2011

48

28

0

I am divorced but I keep my married name for my daughters sake - it really annoys my exs partner too lol

[deleted account]

My brother in laws are both step parents... and wonderful ones. One of them has been the only father my nephew has ever known and my nephew calls him Dad. My other brother in law is called Papa by my niece and her Dad is the biological one.

If you are worried about legality if the biological mother isn't in the picture and you have legal cause, you can adopt your step child.

My two eldest siblings are technically my half siblings... I've never once thought of them that way. In fact my daughter and my brother's youngest daughter look a lot alike. How that happened I'll never know.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

29 Comments

View replies by

Jennifer - posted on 12/29/2011

1

27

0

Erin,I have a very big problem with your comment." the difference between Step Parents and adopted parents is that adopted parents "choose" their children" What do you think Step Parents do? When you choose to marry someone with children, you CHOOSE that child ( children). You make it sound as if adoptive parents go shopping for a child. You also make it sound as if step parents are just stuck with their step children. My dad and his oldest sister were adopted as very young children by my Grandaddy. No, he is not my biological grandparent, but his IS and always will be my Grandaddy!! My dad and the before mentioned sister were told they were adopted by another sister when she was angry one day. My Grandaddy sat her down and told her that he CHOSE my dad and the oldest sister, but when his last 2 daughters were born, he got what God gave him. He went on to tell her that he loved ALL 4 of his children equally, and no one would ever change that. He wanted her to understand that just because she was his biological daughter, that didn't make her any more or less special to him than my dad and his oldest sister. I am a step mom to an 11 year old girl. While it has not been easy, I would still make the same chioce I made 3 years ago when I walked down the aisle and said "I do" to her dad. I didn't just choose him, I chose her , too. Marrying someone with children is a life changing decision. You are taking on a spouse, but you are alos taking in a child. And yes, you are CHOOSING that child, just like you CHOSE your partner!! You didn't just wake up one day and say"I'm going to get married today. Maybe if I buy a pretty white dress and walk into a church, there will be a man waiting to mary me." I think it is very easy for someone to say what they would or would not do, or what is right or wrong, when they themselves are not in that situation. I think you probably meant well in your comments, but you never really know what you would do or how you would react until you are in fact the one in the situation. It is so much easier to stand on the outside and make the judgemnet call, but when you are in the middle of the situation, knowing that a child's future is hung on every decision you make, well, it's not so easy then. And it is easy to say that you would be happy for your boys to call their stepmom "Mom", but until you are in that situation, you don't really know. For the record, my daughter does not call me mom. She has a mom, and I am not trying to take her place, but I am trying to give her a better life. As for my other 2 children calling someone else mom, it would make me angry and breka my heart if I'm being totally honest. How I would handle it, I can't say because fortunately, I don't have to. I didn't mean to go on and on, it just really upset me that you implied that adoptive parents have a choice whereas step parents do not.

Sharon - posted on 10/15/2010

11,585

12

1315

1. Its UNDERMINED. Not under mind ed - underminded suggests lack or less of a mind. Undermined is to have the base dug out from under you/support etc.

There is a difference because most of the time the bio parents are still active vital participants in their childs life and as the parents their rights supercede the stepparent.

That is how it should be. Stepparents do deserve some rights, some protections. They step up in so many ways (being a stepparent myself). My husbands' ex never supported the idea that I could discipline her child. ALWAYS a time out or grounding. Instead I had to call my husband at work, tell him what happened and let him hand out the punishment. But this happened 100% of the time and it got the point across to my stepson that just because he whined to his mother he wasn't going to get away with being an ass.

I took on a huge responsibility in a sucky situation. Only kudos I got were from my husband. There was 7 years of age difference between my stepson and my bio son so it was hard to make punishments for actions equal. You can't punish a toddler who follows the 7 yr olds lead can you? ugh - its a nightmare.

I suggest you find a way to come to terms with the situation and move on. Counseling with the bio mom maybe, family moderators, something so you guys can parent effectively. NONE of that was acceptable to my husbands ex. she said she would only stop being an ass if we gave her more money. Instead we went back to court to have the money reduced since she had fraudulently used her no longer legal married name to get medical care on my husbands insurance and dental and because we paid for medical insurance for his son and all his sports. damn was she ever pissed off.

Ola - posted on 10/14/2010

23

27

0

there are good Adoptive parents and bad ones, just there are good step parents and bad ones.. i think step parents choose their children just as adoptive parents do, if i am in a relationship with someone who has a child i can choose to continue it or end it, its a choice both ways. whether you call the child your adopted child/stepchild it really doesn't matter as long as you love them as YOUR child people think just because you adopt a child you love them more than if you are a step parent its the same thing but no hassle, in the end that is not your bio child you share none of the same genes unless you adopt a family member or in some eastern countries you marry kin. but either way the LOVE depends on the person. I have no biological children yet and dont plan on having a child anytime soon as is stated earlier.

In the state of Va Step parents have the rights to visitation, with that said I think society is showing a much better view of stepparents-parenting..
I think the step parents rights depends on who they are in a relationship with if there mate is the one with custody etc...
some bio parents dont want the step parents discplining their children others dont mind.

Kathy - posted on 10/13/2010

462

15

68

I agree that step-parents can be just as good and sometimes better parents than biological parents. My stepfather is a much better father than my biological father. My sister is a great step-mother probably from watching what a great Dad her father was to me and my brother. Then again, there are some step-parents that are just wicked. My step-mother falls in that category. When it became obvious of her dislike of me and my brother, my behavior towards her got bad. In return, my dad ceased visitation by making up lies. It didn't help that they had a child at that same time. Any rights she had to me, stopped when she stopped letting my father visit.

Rights as far as being a step parent is a touchy thing. They go as far as the ex-spouse rights and honestly not even that far. The biological parents have to accept the new spouse and be comfortable that this new person will love and care for the children. That is a hard thing to do. It is also a great thing when that all happens because the children are the ultimate winners. They get this wonderful group of parents that have their best interest at heart.

Angie - posted on 10/13/2010

2,621

0

407

What's the difference between and adoptive mother and a stepmother? The adoptive mother can and should discipline her child. She loves that child as her own and does not even consider calling the child "my adopted daughter" EVER. She chose to bring that child into her life. A stepmother may look at the stepchild as her partner's ex's child. No matter how much the child is loved, he/she is still the child of someone other than the parent he/she is living with. This child is not a chosen to be part of the relationship but someone who was part of "the package". A stepparent's rights should be limited because not every stepparent is as loving as you and these precious children must be protected. Keep loving your stepdaughter and being the best mother you can to her; remember that she has a mother and maybe you are her mommy. Perhaps, your partner can speak with his daughter's mother and decide what's appropiate for you to do (or not do) with/for their child. You shouldn't be a part of this conversation because it may cause tension between Dad and Mom. Good luck and kudos to you for loving this precious child.

Jenn - posted on 10/13/2010

2,683

36

96

Shouldn't it be up to the child what they want to call you? My son likes to call his step-dad Birdman, as that is a nickname he has anyway (his last name is Bird). But if he wanted to call him Brian, or Dad, those would be OK as well. My step-daughter just calls me Jenn and that works for me, but again, it was HER choice what to call me. In my case, I am NOT a replacement for her Mom, as she has a great Mom already. But for my son, his bio-Dad really has very little to do with him, so Brian has stepped in to provide a father-figure for him.

Erica - posted on 10/13/2010

205

30

26

just curious about how many of you that are against the child calling a step parent MOM or DAD have step children of your own that live with you on a full time basis? Loureen is correct alot of different variables go into something like this, no 2 familes will EVER be the same

Charlie - posted on 10/12/2010

11,203

111

409

Essentially Kate is correct but there are so many variables to the family dynamic that a simple answer here is too hard without each and every persons individual case .

Ola - posted on 10/12/2010

23

27

0

@krista I come from a blended family and believe that no matter the circumstances Bio parents can never be replaced, especially the MOTHER because she carried the child for nine months pushed with all her might durring labor etc.. at the same time it all depends on who you are married to, it takes a village to raise a child, we send our children to public school and the teachers/principles dicipline our children what is stopping the step-parent especially if the bio spouse as physical custody, I am currently a Homemaker/full time student which means that on a day to day basis I am with my step child, for me to have her 24/7 and not being able to discipline her is ridiculous and unreal, luckily she is young and our bond is strong, i still make sure she contacts her mother, make cards/pictures and everything when i take pictures of her doing things i forward them to her mother, I NEVER talk negative about her mother to her around, and I make sure she respects he rmother because her mother doesn't discipline her.

My step daughter does not call me mom and I am fine with that she is very intellectual and she understands that i am not her bio mom, but her love for me is as strong as a childs love for he rmother because my husband and i are the constant figures in her life.

A mothers job is never done in eastern culture mother/mama are names that are given to motherly people in the community, with that said its not so much the title its the work put in, in the end no matter what happens my step daughter will know that she was loved and though she may not have lived with her bio mom she gets love from each side,
Being a step mom is hard, its a scary road to take especially once adding more children to the equation so for me its all about my step daughter and what is best for her, she is apart of a blended family she does not feel like i do not love her, but she feels that shes blessed to have two mothers who love her dearly.

Stifler's - posted on 10/12/2010

15,141

154

604

it's that way because usually there is another parent, the ex who is their step child's bio parent.

Krista - posted on 10/12/2010

12,562

16

845

I do agree with Kate. If the biological parent is still in the child's life, even to a minor degree, then the child should definitely not be encouraged to refer to the stepparent as "Mom" or "Dad". Obviously, it becomes more complicated if the stepparent is present from birth and is a major factor in the child's life.

In those cases, I would hope that the adults could all come together to work out a solution.

In the larger scheme of things just with regards to rights, once again, it really depends on a host of factors. My stepdad raised us as his own, but he left the day-to-day discipline to my mom, because he didn't feel that it was his place. If the shit REALLY hit the fan, though, he'd speak up.

Blended families are rarely easy and uncomplicated. It's always a bit of a walking-on-eggshells situation where you don't want to tread on toes. I find custodial stepmothers tend to have the worst end of the deal, because it seems like the women usually have to deal with the day-to-day BS of "pick up your room", "do your homework", "don't hit your sister", and it's hard if you feel like you don't have that right. It's CRUCIAL for your spouse to be on the same team with you and to work towards solutions. I've too often seen cases where the stepparent has all of the responsibility of the kids, but none of the authority, and it's poisoned many a marriage.

Erica - posted on 10/12/2010

205

30

26

i am sorry but my husbands ex walked into a lawyers office and signed custody over to him....I will never agree with the fact that if she WANTS to call me MOM then she should be allowed to. I am not trying to take her place nor will i ever but I am more of a mother to her in the last 7 years of her life than she will ever be. She is with us 90% of the time. I understand it might hurt the BIO parents feeling but I DONT CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS, I CARE ABOUT THE CHILD. Isnt that what is suppose to be important here?

Kate CP - posted on 10/12/2010

8,942

36

758

Erin: I think at that point it would be a good idea to have a parental pow-wow and figure out what every one is comfortable with.

[deleted account]

Kate, I suppose where I'm confused here is "what if" BOTH the step-mom & bio-mom are active in the child's life and SM is just that awesome that the child feels comfortable enough to call them mom too, in addition to not subtracting from one? Like I said before, if the child CHOOSES it then I don't personally see the problem! If they're coming home to bio-mom and calling her by name... :/ ? if she didn't do anything to deserve it then that would be wrong...not respectful either way, but if my husband started calling his mom by her name I think her behavior warranted it! Just saying

Kelina - posted on 10/12/2010

2,018

9

235

I think if the step parent has known that child for many years and the other biological parent either isn't in the picture or both biological parents get along well enough for them to be ok with the child calling the step parent mom or dad then that's fine. Personally i never would have called my step mom "mom". She made it very clear to me that she didn't want me despite the fact that she'd been with my dad from the time i was 4 and thought she was perfect till about a year later. i think it really depends on the parents and the kids in question. no two situations are alike, no two stepparents are alike. Some step parents don't want their stepkids around, However i also think that stepparents deserve respect unless they've made that distinction that they obviously don't want the child or do something to lose it.

Erica - posted on 10/12/2010

205

30

26

Thank you Erin....we have never told the kids what to call us, it was there choice. By discouraging the child you are telling them " it is not ok to love them like you do me" which is completly wrong!!!! If might hurt your feeling but grow up and be the adult in the situation.

[deleted account]

I agree w/Shannon that step parents and parents need to work together as a team. In some cases maybe, but I don't think that most step-parents are trying to REPLACE the biological parent... It would not bother me if my boys CHOSE to call a step-mom "Mom" I would be pleased that they felt comfortable enough with my husband's (we're not divorced, hypothetically speaking here) choice of mate and happy that she would be that caring towards my boys. If in this situation I would not encourage my boys to call another person mom/dad but would not discourage it either. I just think it is rediculous when step-parents get no more respect then a babysitter, or heck in some cases they don't even get that!!!

Iridescent - posted on 10/12/2010

4,519

272

1080

In most situations, I can agree with Kate. "Mom" and "Dad" are for the parents. But there are cases where it's a step parent that has raised that child from birth, and the biological parent hasn't seen the child in years...or asked about them...and doesn't care. Such as my step children. I'm "Mom". A step parent has as much legal right as the biological parent gives them. I have written authority to make any medical decisions, get treatment, set up school decisions, etc. Anything I can legally do with my own biological children, I can also do with them. But this is ONLY because we went the extra step and made it legal, without terminating parental rights of the biological mother. The biological mother's rights to have contact with them, have care given to them, etc, all the "normal" rights that I was given, her's were stripped by the state when she neglected, abused, malnourished these children (and her two others), became a pedophile and went to prison. So really, your rights as a step parent depend on what the biological parents have allowed you, as well as the situation you are in, and what the state has granted for each individual situation. We did the exact same with my husband for my last daughter; he has legal permission to make any decisions regarding her welfare and life, and her biological father has retained his parental rights as well. We simply added a third parent for each of the kids involved, in essence. The biological parents that are not involved have not earned the right to be "mom" or "dad" and they will not be known as such. They chose to live life without them.

Ola - posted on 10/12/2010

23

27

0

@Kate gotcha, i totally understand where you are coming from but no two situations are the same, if a step parent has been in the childs life from the beginning of time i see nothing wrong with them calling their step parent mom/dad, in my situation i been in my daughters life since she was 1 1/2, i allow her to call me whatever she feels comfortable with i dont force the issue but i care for her as my own shes with my husband and i 24/7.@shannon, that is a interesting question, growing up i was always around other peoples children and i have a love for kids, i am blessed to be in my step daughters life, i recently had a disscusion with my husband as to whether i will love our future the same as i do my current child, and it frightens me thats one of the reasons why i haven't planned a pregnancy yet, i want to bond with her before adding tot he family, I do have plans of adopting but i want to wait and play this out first, my daughter is now 4 years old she reognizes my husband, myself and he rmother as her parents, and she is happy. im not planning on adding to the family for good 2years.

[deleted account]

I agree that a lot of step parents are undermined in their efforts to parent their step children. I think it is important for parents and step parents to work as a team as much as possible and support each others rights to set limits and enforce rules in their own home. I am a step mom and thankfully I am respected and fully included as a parent. My step son does not call me mom, but I have a friend whose step kids do call her mom because she's been part of their lives since babies. I don't see anything wrong with that. They are a loving accepting family and the kids chose to call her mom when they were preteens... totally their idea. My friend is not taking anything away from the kids' real mom... these kids feel they have two equal moms. I think it's healthy if the kids decide.

In my case, I came on the scene when my step son was 9, and while he has always accepted my authority without question and respects me as a parent, I do not feel like his mom at all. He was never my baby, we didn't bond that way, and I often defer to his Dad to parent him because I don't WANT to. Having a step son and a biological son, I have clearly experienced a difference in my connection with the boys. I wish this wasn't the case, but it's the truth and I think it's natural for many step parents so I try not to be self critical... I'm doing the best I can.

I am interested in hearing whether people feel differently about adopted children than they do about their step children because I would like to adopt another child, but have some concerns about whether I will love him/her the same as my biological child or the way I care for (but don't love at the same level) my step child. Any thoughts on that?

[deleted account]

I think the difference between Step Parents and adopted parents is that adopted parents "choose" their children.

In regards to SPs being underminded, I agree completely! It irritates me BEYONE BELIEF the amount of times I see in posts that the step parent has no rights and should not be disciplining the step child... HOW IN THE HECK would you assume a person takes care of a child in their charge if they can NOT discipline them??? Why are step parents not respected by step children? hmmm....I wonder! Rediculous!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms