Can a new husband get child custody without the consent of the biological father? 19 Answers as of May 25, 2011

My brother has not been able to pay child support for years due to unemployment nor has the mother allowed him to see the child. His child's mother’s fiancee is trying for adoption. Is this possible without the consent of her bio-logical father?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Not if he actually contest the action. For step-dad to adopt, bio-dad has to be terminated either by force or agreement. Tell him, if he is served with papers, do not ignore them.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/25/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Contested step-parent adoption proceeds are not easy but they are winnable. If your brother resides in Western Washington and is interested in hiring an experienced, aggressive, but affordable attorney to defend him, have him give me a call for a free, no obligation consultation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/25/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
It may be possible for the new spouse to adopt if she is able to convince the court that it is in the children's best interests. On the other hand, if your brother wants to see his children, he should to court to establish/enforce the parenting plan.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/25/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
There will have to be a contested hearing in Probate Court.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/24/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
If the mother proves to the satisfaction of the adoption Court that your brother (the father) has neither contacted nor supported his child for over a year, the adoption Court can terminate your brother's parental rights. Your brother should retain an adoption attorney to contest the adoption - hopefully, he has records of his efforts to contact his child to demonstrate that his lack of contact was due to the mother's lack of cooperation. He has some risk if he had unemployment income and didn't contribute anything to the child's support, but the requirements for termination of his parental rights are two-pronged, i.e., lack of contact (for which he may have a defense) and lack of support (where his unemployment may or not provide him a defense). If he doesn't contest the adoption, the adoption will likely be granted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/24/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    No unless there is an agreement with the bio-dad or CPS takes custody of the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    I don't think so. I think they would have to have the parental rights terminated first. Your brother would need to rebut her allegations that he just didn't come see the child on his own. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    No, it's not likely anyone else can adopt the child without his consent. Have him speak to a matrimonial attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    In Oregon the answer is yes. If they allege and proof that birth father has not had meaningful contact with the child in the 6 months prior to filing the Petition for Adoption; has not paid child support, communicated with the children, provided any type of communication, gift, letter, etc; they may be able to prove abandonment of the child and the adoption will be granted, without the signature of consent of the birth father. Assuming that birth father does not object to the adoption, one tactic is that he could agree to sign the consent to adopt if the mother will forgive the past due child support. This is a very common negotiated item. If father does not want the child to be adopted and they have not yet filed for adoption, he needs to get busy communicating with his child, paying child support and become an active father.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If you haven't been seeing your child and you haven't been paying support, the it is possible for your parental rights to be terminated. This has to happen before an adoption can take place. I would strongly suggest immediately starting to pay support and enforce any custody order that is in place. If you need an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
    The child can be adopted. you can talk to the social worker or the attorney on the case. If the mother agrees and the father is not in the child life for some time then the adoption just might go without the consent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    If he is aware of the adoption, he needs to go to court and contest the adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Adoption requires termination of parental rights first. He should be making efforts to see his children and that should prevent TPR.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Without knowing all the facts, it is difficult to give any real answer or information, and it is also important to emphasize that no one can ever predict what a judge will do. However, based upon the facts provided, it would appear that a judge would almost certainly consider, as you suggest, such factors as no support and no contact by the biological father for a lengthy period of time. I would recommend that he hire an experienced lawyer to advise him as to his rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If he has never paid any child support it is possible for a court to grant a step-parent adoption without his consent. It is also possible if a step-parent can prove abandonment. If your brother can clearly prove that he has tried continuously to establish and maintain a relationship with the child but the mother has actively prevented that, he might be able to avoid a finding of abandonment. But, overcoming years of no financial support at all and apparently no effort to do something will be more difficult. Apparently, the mother has not yet married, so until she does the fiance will not be permitted to adopt as a stepparent even if bio-dad did consent.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    Yes, if the court terminates the rights of the biological father. One factor the courts will look at is whether the biological father has paid child support and the length of time that has passed since child support has been paid. However prior to terminating any rights, your brother would be given notice and the opportunity to be heard.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer to your question will depend on whether the biological parent is adjudicated as the father and/or whether the biological father is presumed to be the father under Minnesota Statutes.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/24/2011
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