Can my husband legally adopt my son without contacting the biological father? 43 Answers as of June 14, 2013

My son does not have a father on his birth certificate. This biological father is in prison for the next 20 years.

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Victor Varga | Victor Varga
No, the biological father must either consent, or be notified and have the opportunity to contest it.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/14/2012
Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
If paternity has never been established, then he should be able to adopt your son.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/14/2012
Bruning & Associates, PC | Mary D. Sump
No, your husband cannot adopt your son without contacting the biological father. The biological father has to voluntarily give up his rights to the child, or you have to go to court and ask that the father be found unfit before you petition for a step-parent adoption.

I would recommend that you see a licensed attorney so you are aware of your options, the timeframes, and the cost.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/14/2012
John H. Anlian Attorney At Law | John H. Anlian
The natural/biological father MUST be notified of the application for the adoption. He must be given an opportunity to be heard on the matter. Otherwise, the Court will not approve the adoption.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/14/2012
Law Office of James Lentz
Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
Maybe. You still have to identify the father, and give him notice. This can often be done by taking an ad out in a newspaper. Please contact a family law practitioner for information.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/14/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    Yes, your new husband may adopt without permission from the former.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Do you have a lawyer on this yet? I would be happy to discuss the options with you and give you guidance on how to accomplish the termination - which is required.

    Since you know who the biological father is, you cannot do this without serving him, that said, he is in prison, it is not like he is going to make it to court.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna PC | Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna
    Probably, yes. If the Bio Dad has not supported the child and will not be able to support his child for at least 2 years in the future, you can proceed with termination the bio dad's rights.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    The natural father must give up his parental before and adoption can take place.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    In Rhode Island, the biological father would be the putative father if not on the birth certificate. You would file adoption papers and he could either sign an agreement (if he were the father) or come to court and lose anyhow. Have done this several times.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    No. Even a prisoner is entitled to be a parent. In order for your husband to adopt, you would have to terminate the parental rights of the father.

    There is no way on earth for you to do this without a lawyer, so talk to one and find out the details of what you would have to prove and what your chances are based on your particular facts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    The consent of the biological parent must be obtained.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    In order for your husband to adopt your son, the biological father will either have to sign a consent to adoption or you can serve him with the petition for adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    You must either contact the known father or publish in the paper if the father is unknown.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
    Whether he's incarcerated or not, the biological father still has a right to be a party to any adoption proceedings and given a chance to contest them if he so desires.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Notice to the biological parent is required in Step-Parent adoptions, and the adoption Court would likely appoint an attorney to represent a biological father who is in prison at the adoption hearing(s). You and your husband should have an in-person consultation with an experienced Step-Parent adoption attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    In order for your husband to adopt your child, you must either obtain the biological father's written consent or file a separate action to terminate his rights.

    I recommend you consult with an attorney to discuss this process so you can determine your best course of action.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Attorney at Law | John P. Rivers
    Your husband can file a stepparent adoption. If you know the identity of the biological father and his whereabouts he must have notice and an opportunity to be heard, but he can consent to the adoption.

    If he does not consent, your husband will have to request that the parental rights of the biological father be terminated as a part of the adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    If the biological father is known and his whereabouts are known, then he must be served notice of your Petition for Adoption.

    He could object, but it would be difficult from prison. An experienced adoption attorney would be able to discuss the particular situation with you and advise you about your chances of success.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    Your husband can adopt, but due diligence must be exercised to notify the biological father must be shown before he can adopt your son.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    No. If there is a biological father, his rights must be terminated before a step parent adoption may proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    Since you know who the biological father is and where he is, he must be given notice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    You must contact the biological father and give him notice.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    Generally, the biological father would have to consent to the adoption and since he is in prison he may very well be willing to do so.

    However, since he has not provided any support or had any parenting time and will not in the near future, you may be able to have his rights terminated without his consent thereby allowing for your husband to adopt.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    The biological father has to be notified but he may not be able to prevent the adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    NO. If you know who is, or might be, the biological father the procedures necessary to ensure that any adoption will be valid and final requires you and your husband to provide him notice of the adoption petition.

    Even though there has not yet been a formal determination of any parental rights, it is important that he be given a chance to object to the adoption if he believes he should have some parental rights.

    If he receives notice and fails to object, he will be barred from making any claim in the future. If he is not given notice, there is a chance that he could come into your life in the future and try to set the adoption aside.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    If you know the biological father you must contact him. If he attempts to contest the adoption the court can decide to terminate his rights and allow the adoption to continue.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    The consent of the father is required. This one will probably consent.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    No the court will require that information about the father be revealed and that the biological father be contacted. You will have to file a petition to free your son for adoption.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    The court will require that notices be sent. This can be done by publication but notice is required.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Pietryga Law Office | Russ Pietryga
    You should terminate fathers rights. Then file a petition for an adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    Depends a little on the circumstances- if the bio dad has not taken any step s to claim fatherhood by filing certain paperwork at the Dept. of Health and Welfare, and if he is not named on the birth certificate, then maybe no notice is necessary- otherwise notice will be required. You need an attorney to get the facts and give you specific guidance.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    When the adoption is filed, the biological father should be served with a copy of the petition by sheriff's service.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Depending on the circumstances, you might not need the bio father's consent, but he would still need to be served with the petition for adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    Yes. In Alabama a judge may grant an adoption with 6 months of no contact which includes prison sentences. If it is in the best interest of the child to be adopted, that can be done without consent from the biological father.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    Before your husband can legally adopt your son, the biological father's rights will have to be terminated. Consult a good family law attorney, and he or she will know exactly which documents to file and how to go about this process.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    An adoption is possible under these circumstances. You would need to consult with an adoption attorney to get it done.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,.
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,. | Jason P. Kutulakis
    No you must terminate bio dad's rights.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/29/2013
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