Snapshot: When a remarried dad adopts his new wife’s son

by singlemomseeking on July 18, 2010

Some of you might remember Luke from the TLC dating reality show for single parents, “Must Love Kids.” Months later, Luke when fought hard to save his sister, Shayna, as she battled breast cancer, I also wrote about his impressive perseverance.

Recently, I got in touch with Luke just before he was deployed again with the US Navy. Understandably, he was pumped: after completing his Master’s Degree in Information and becoming a Chief in the Navy, Luke got married! I asked him if he’d spill the details. Thanks Chief!

HimebaughWedding 362

Luke said that he first met Mary “at my best friend’s wedding in 2004.  I was a groomsman, and Mary’s sister was a bridesmaid. Back then, an almost-11 year age difference was a big deal. However, we stayed in touch and as the years went by, it was no longer an obstacle.  When I went back to Michigan last summer, we had planned to go out on a date while I was there.”

“We just had hit it off so well, and knew each other so well, that we decided to throw caution into the wind and be together.  That meant that she had to move out here to San Diego, since I’m in the Navy here. So, barely a month after I left Michigan last year, she uprooted her whole life (and son) and moved out here to be with me.”

Her son was barely a year old when Luke met Mary’s son, and they bonded quickly. Her son’s birth father has not been in his life, and Luke and Mary talked openly about the possibility of Luke becoming his legal father. On July 15,  Luke emailed me — with so much excitement — to say that he’d officially adopted his two-year old step-son,

Luke has two daughters from his first marriage, and whenever he’s on shore, he loves seeing his girls every other week. He adds that the transition — his remarriage — has “been a challenge” because “my girls were so used to it just being them and dad.” (I get this, Luke!)

While Luke is at sea, he will write his daughters a couple times a week — in addition to emailing and calling them. “We are giving the girls letter writing kits, any time I’m in port (typically we’ll hit at least a port a month), I have my laptop and if I can get a wireless connection. I’ll be able to either IM or Skype with Mary.”


As this post goes live, Luke is literally going out to sea with the Navy. Just before being deployed, however, he sent an email with some BIG news!

“We’re expecting a baby! Just to answer some questions: no, we don’t know what sex the baby is, and no, I will not be home for the birth (unless we’re not gone as long as we’re supposed to be somehow). We decided that, although unfortunate, that was a better option than waiting a few years until I was on shore duty again to have a baby and ensure that I’d be here for the birth.”

Wow, Luke! Here’s to your growing family — and growing love.

I’m curious, and would love to hear from ALL of you about this one:

If you’re dating someone with a child, would you consider adopting him/her in the future?

If you’re a single mom or dad who’s dating, would you be open to your new husband/wife adopting your child(ren) in the future?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Liv August 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Hi – I’m new to this site and am so glad I found all of you! I had a baby on my own last September and would love to find the right guy (any suggestions on where??? that is always the biggest challenge. I think I’ve tapped out internet dating); however, I must admit that the thought of having someone adopt my daughter is terrifying! Maybe just b/c its all theoretical at this point??


Dawn July 31, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I’m a new reader but LOVE your blog!! I am a single mom and yes I would adopt & let my husband adopt my daughter. BUT my worry is for my daughter…..we adopted her, then 1.5 yr later her dad & I split. He has said that if I found someone who wanted to adopt her that he would sign over rights. He talks to her 1-3 times a week….has gone 3 wks with no call. Most of the time she doesn’t want to talk to her. He isn’t good about child support…and he knows all this. I think a good part of it is that he wouldn’t have to pay anymore. But he also knows he a crappy dad. So I worry that she will feel abandoned not only by her birthmother but also her father. But I would only marry a man who fell in love with her as well as me who it would hopefully be a relief to her that he was her “dad” now.


singlemomseeking August 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Thanks so much for your comment Dawn!
I’d love to hear from more single moms who’ve adopted. Please stay in touch.


Two Becomes One July 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm

God Bless Luke for adopting the little boy and also for keeping in touch with his two daughters. Some people remarry and ignore their first families. It’s wonderful to hear about happy stories that come out of broken relationships. I wish you the best with your new little one that’s on the way. Hope you make it home in time for the birth! One other thing, Luke. Thanks for protecting our country. The world needs more men like you.


Luke July 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Thanks all…it was really important for me, once the opportunity presented itself, to make things official. I don’t want the little guy to feel left out, and not having a bio dad, I wanted him to have my last name and be part. Yes, we’ll always tell him that I adopted him (we’re not going to hide it) and that I’m just his real dad regardless.

Thanks Rachel (again), and greetings from out in the ocean…!



Swati July 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

What a wonderfully sweet story! I feel like jello inside now with the warm fuzzies :-).

I hate to sound like I have a double standard but…I would totally be open to adopting someone else’s child or children..but I would be afraid of having them adopt mine! I think my experience with my ex has been so terrible, the thought of another person having custodial rights to my child just scares me.

But I am glad to hear it’s working out so well of Luke!

.-= Swati´s last blog ..Single Mom Watches in Horror as Her Local Starbucks is Repeatedly Violated =-.


Carrie July 22, 2010 at 8:25 am

I am incredibly fortunate to be engaged to a man who takes his role as a step-father more seriously than anyone I have ever met. From the time that he stepped foot in our house he became everything that my kids needed him to be. While my kids still see their bio father twice a month if that was not the case and he was out of the picture Brian (my fiancée) would adopt them in a heart beat.

I never doubt his love for me because he has done the most astronomical thing imaginable…he has become a parent to two children who are not blood linked to him but linked to him because of me.
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..NEW – Home-Hair-Care-Treatment!! =-.


singlemomseeking July 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm

@Dora: I really hear you. Thanks.
I’m curious to hear from everyone on this: When you’re a solo parent (like Dora and me)… do you think about the “What ifs” in the future (such as dying). As a co-parent, your ex would get custody of your kids, yes?

Yet… if you’re a solo parent and you’re getting remarried — but your new husband/wife doesn’t have parental rights — what would happen if you passed away? (Believe me, I don’t like to think about these things, but I’m trying to be honest!)

Your new husband/wife would have no parenting rights to raise child, even if he/she was in your child’s life for years… right?

Most solo parents I know have written their wills so that their own parents would have custody if something happened… Thoughts?


Dora July 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Would I consider adopting the child of someone I was dating? Sure. Would I consider allowing someone I married to adopt my child? NO WAY! As a single mother by choice, I believe one of the upsides of my choice is the absolute knowledge that my child will NEVER endure a custody battle. No matter how sure I was of a man in my life, I will not risk losing even one day of custody of my daughter. Or risk having to deal with an ex when making decisions regarding her.
.-= Dora´s last blog ..Whatever You Can Spare =-.


Kelli July 20, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I am engaged right now and we are getting married next yr. I have a 2yr old and my fiancee is the only man/father my daughter has known. Her birth father has been absent since I was 13wks pregnant, I do receive child support though. We have discussed my fiancee adopting her after the wedding. My ex-husband is on board so he is off the hook for CS payments, its sad, he recently told me the sooner the better. My fiancee is a great father & we are very excited about what the future holds.

.-= Kelli´s last blog ..The Big Time =-.


Anna July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

I’ve thought about this a bit. My son’s father sees him maybe 4 times a year, and has no custody rights, legal or physical. I don’t think he’d savor the idea of another man adopting his son, but he might agree to it to get out of paying child support. Sad but true.


Naked Girl in a Dress July 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm

This is a wonderful story. It is nice to read about a man who, without hesitation, is willing to adopt his wife’s child from a previous relationship. He sounds like a really nice guy.

Thank you for sharing this with us!
.-= Naked Girl in a Dress´s last blog ..Mel Gibson and Lindsey Lohan can’t overshadow this special day =-.


Jamie July 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

This is crazy you posted this today – you need to go read my post – I am going through something like this right now…… I think it is spooky you posted this today……


singlemomseeking July 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Wow, Jamie, I love it when that happens… I’m off to read your post now!


Mommy to the Monsters July 18, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I’m absolutely opened to the idea of my future husband adopting my sons…and I think my boys would be absolutely thrilled about it too

For me my decision is based on the fact that I myself adopted my boys as a single mother and they have NO FATHER AT ALL…..I think “making it official” (as in them being officially adopted by my spouse) would mean a lot to my boys and to me as well, It would seem like the final missing piece tothe puzzle was put in place…

I would also be open to adopting my spouses children as well….
.-= Mommy to the Monsters´s last blog ..Sorry =-.


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