How can I adopt my wife's child from a previous relationship, original father unknown? 20 Answers as of October 31, 2012The birth father is unknown, her boyfriend at the time insisted on signing the birth certificate but was DNA-tested to not be the birth father. I want to adopt the child now that we are married.
The Law Office of Kate M. Forrest, PLLC | Kate Forrest
The law requires that notice be given to any alleged father, but there are provisions for notice by publication if the identity/whereabouts are unknown: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.33.310
Answer Applies to: Washington
Burton Guidry | Burton P. Guidry
Yes you can. The court will appoint a curator ad hoc to try and find the biological father at his last known place of residence. It may take a little longer than a couple of weeks or months but you surely can do it, especially if you have your wife's consent and you are the only parent known to the child. Get a lawyer and tell him the history of how the biological dad was not involved. Remember, that fellow may have some rights and the courts will want to know why he has not exercised his rights in some way or if he was prevented from doing so. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
This is a typical Step-Parent adoption. They are fairly simple and easy to do, the unknown father has to be terminated, there are steps for that process. Your lawyer will know what to do, if he/she does not, get a different lawyer. Adoptions are paperwork intensive and enjoyable work for a lawyer. As an added bonus, a lawyer who knows the process can save you as much as he/she cost you. That is to say, if you attempt this on your own, you will have to get social studies, home studies, and an ad litem appointed. All of this cost - it cost a lot. With a step-parent adoption, it is possible to waive the social and home studies, and those of us who do this routinely help one another out performing ad litem duties cheap (last week another attorney charged me $350 to act as ad litem - if the Judge just appoints someone they can easily charge $1000 for the same job and may even justify more). Consider a social study and home study can run $1250-1750 each and a lawyer in the know can quickly save you $3000 or more in cost.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Have your husband file an Adoption Case, you advise the Social Worker of the situation regarding the birth parent and former boyfriend, and proceed as advised by the Social Worker. Your husband would best retain an experienced Adoption Attorney to represent him.
Answer Applies to: California
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
You file a petition for a step-parent adoption and indicate as much known information as you can about who the father is. The man listed as the father on the birth certificate will have to be notified of the case and given an opportunity to consent to the adoption or object to it. Unless the DNA test was previously dealt with in a court proceeding, the birth certificate is the only current presumptive evidence of who the father is. He can choose to consent, but qualify his consent with a statement saying he doesn't believe he is the father but if he is, he consents.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
I recommend you consult with an attorney to discuss the best way to accomplish this. It may be necessary for the ex-boyfriend to consent to the adoption (since he is the "legal father" on the birth certificate), and it may also be necessary to terminate the parental rights of "John Doe" (biological father). Once the consent/termination have been completed, the stepparent adoption can be very straightforward depending on your family's circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Arizona