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Is Adoption Necessary

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Stepfather wants to adopt wife's son by her previous marriage. Natural father alive, different state, arrears in child support. Proposed adoption is ostensibly so the child can have access to various death/retirement benefits. Mom just wants what is best for her child. It seems to me that adoption is not necessary; rather, wills & forms & insurance forms could be filled in/written to allow the child those benefits.

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