I am the stepmother of my husbands two children, an 11-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, whom we have had since birth. The natural Mother is currently in prison for abusing the boy, and will be there for several more years - it was bad. I wish to adopt the children in case something happens to my husband, so that the children will be able to remain with me and so that their natural mother won't be able to intrude in our lives.
We understand that to proceed with adoption we must first have the natural mothers legal rights terminated. How do we do that? I have been told we will have problems because she is in prison in another state. I know that I have no legal right to the children, and our daughter has only known me as her mother. The boy wants me to adopt him.
I have also been told that in a step-parent adoption, the legal parent (my husband) would have to give up his rights as well. Is that the case?