Can my husband adopt my son without any involvement from his uninvolved father? 15 Answers as of May 31, 2011

I have a son who is almost 3, there is no father listed on the birth certificate and his biological father has only seen him 2 or 3 times when he was a month or two old. He was violent and using illegal drugs (which i did not know at the time of getting pregnant), he pressured me into the situation when i really didn't want to. he did absolutely nothing to help me or my son in any way during pregnancy or after his birth. I was 17 when i got pregnant with my son and he was at least 18. I have no idea where he is, and I dont want him around my son. I am getting married to the only man my son has ever known as "daddy" and we want him to be able to legally be named his father. Are we going to be able to do that without the involvement of the biological father.

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Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
You should have little trouble doing a stepparent adoption. If the facts are as you say, it should go pretty smoothly. Get an attorney!
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/31/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
You will have to go to Probate court to terminate his parental rights so the child will be free for adoption.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/31/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
No. A biological parent's rights must be terminated before a step parent adoption may proceed.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/31/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Yes, you may be able to do it without the natural father's involvement - if you truly cannot locate him. You will likely have to prove you had an investigator try to find him before they will allow you to publish notice to him. All that takes time and money to accomplish, but it can be done with the help of a good laywer who is experienced in these matters. Consult with someone who knows what to do and can advise you directly and personally. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/31/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
It sounds like the bio father may never have been legally established as the father of the child. Under Washington law, if that is the case, you may be able to proceed on the adoption without him. You may have to wait until you have been married a year to do the adoption. Consult with an adoption attorney to find out more.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/27/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that retain a family lawyer in your community to help advise and help you in your step parent adoption case. It can be done in many circumstances, but discuss it with your own attorney. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Komanapalli Massey LLP
    Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
    You will be able to have the bio father's parental rights terminated because he has failed to make contact with the child for a period of six months and failed to provide support. You must petition the adoption court to do so,which depending on where you are located, might be a specialized court or it may be the probate court. There are a multitude of forms to fill out, a requirement that you provide the bio-father notice or make good faith, due diligent efforts to locate him to give him notice, and a process which will take around six months to complete. No question you will succeed in getting your son adopted by your husband, it is just a matter of jumping through the required legal hoops. We would be happy to assist you. Give us a call if you would likeretain our firm. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The best answer I have is:maybe. A good faith effort must be made in Ohio and Michigan to locate and obtain the consent of the biological father for an adoption of a child known to be his. Exceptions can be made if the bio dad does not respond to notices in general circulation newspapers, or if the bio dad cannot be identified. A local attorney can guide you on the path best for you.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes, a step-parent adoption is possible with or without the bio-dad's consent. You will need to make a diligent effort to locate the bio-dad to give him notice and an chance to object, but if you are unsuccessful the court can authorize notice by publication in a newspaper. You should consult an attorney for a more complete analysis of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    The best approach is probably to terminate your ex's parental rights, thus freeing the courts to allow your husband to adopt. I strongly suggest hiring an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, you can file a petition for adoption and for termination of parental rights. See my article on this subject on Facebook.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    I refer you to the following Connecticut statute: Please pay attention to the bold print at the end of the statute. Sec. 45a-725. (Formerly Sec. 45-61j). When child free for adoption. A minor child shall be considered free for adoption and the Court of Probate may grant an application for the appointment of a statutory parent if any of the following have occurred: (a) The child has no living parents; (b) all parental rights have been terminated under Connecticut law; (c) (1) in the case of any child from outside the United States, its territories or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico placed for adoption by the Commissioner of Children and Families or by any child-placing agency, the petitioner has filed an affidavit that the child has no living parents or that the child is free for adoption and that the rights of all parties in connection with the child have been properly terminated under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the child was domiciled before being removed to the state of Connecticut; or (2) in the case of any child from any of the United States, its territories or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico placed by the Commissioner of Children and Families or a child-placing agency, the petitioner has filed an affidavit that the child has no living parents or has filed in court a certified copy of the court decree in which the rights of all parties in connection with the child have been terminated under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the child was domiciled before being removed to the state of Connecticut, and the child-placing agency obtained guardianship or other court authority to place the child for adoption. If no such affidavit or certified decree has been filed, then termination of parental rights proceedings shall be required.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    The short answer is no. The biological father's parental rights must be terminated before your husband can adopt. In situations like this, I first try to get the biological father to sign off his parental rights and file for voluntary termination. If he refuses, then I'd file for involuntary termination of his parental rights. Given his clear lack of involvement for more than 6 months, an involuntary termination should be granted. But either way, he must first be notified.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Probably. You will need to file a petition to terminate the parental rights then adopt. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/27/2011
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