Teenager gives step-dad adoption papers for his birthday

family law

A teenage girl in Indiana surprised her step-dad with adoption papers for his 39th birthday.

Vincent VonTobel met his step-daughter’s mother Jessica 15 years ago when the girl was only two years old. He and the child developed a close relationship very quickly, according to Jessica. The two of them “had the cutest things in common, such as foods they liked and games they enjoyed playing” she explained.

Jessica said that her daughter never knew her biological father and that Vincent was “the only person she had ever known as a father figure”. Even before she married him, he never introduced his step-daughter to people as such, but as “my little girl”. She even served as a flower girl at their wedding.

The mechanical engineer had wanted to adopt the teen for a while but decided to leave the final decision up to her and did not push for it. However, as his birthday approached the girl decided she wanted to be officially adopted before she turned 18.

She bought him an engraved pen and contacted a lawyer to get the proper paperwork drawn up. The girl presented the document to him in a gift-wrapped box on his birthday. When Vincent realised what he had been given, he began to cry.

Jessica said:

“He is honestly pretty strong both physically and emotionally. I didn’t realize until he broke how significant and important it was to him … It was like everything in our family was complete.”

The 36 year-old medic filmed the moment her husband opened his present and posted the video online. In it, the teenager hugged her step-father and told him there was “no one else that I would rather have as my dad”.

It did not take long before Jessica received lots of messages from people who “said [the video] made them cry, while others said it was just so beautiful and everyone was so happy for us”. She hopes the story “inspires people to become aware of adoption”.

The paperwork has now been filed and the process is expected to be completed within the next month.

Watch the video here:

Photo by Mike Carter via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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