How can I adopt my wife's child from a previous relationship, original father unknown? 20 Answers as of October 31, 2012

The 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.

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Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
An experienced attorney can help you file for step-parent adoption. You may have to publish notice (substitute service) to the birth father, but your attorney can help you with that.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/31/2012
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
You can do a step-parent adoption through probate court after you have been married for six months. Forms are available through the court.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/23/2012
CHANNELL LAW FIRM | WARREN T CHANNELL
Yes. Being that the father is unknown adds complexities...Contact an attorney in your area to discuss.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/23/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Come a petition in Probate Court and be prepared to support your position.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/23/2012
The Law Office of Kate M. Forrest, PLLC
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
Replied: 10/23/2012
    Burton Guidry
    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
    Replied: 10/23/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    You have a possible problem here with the prior boyfriend. How old is this child Why was he (B/F) DNA tested, reason for Has he been ordered to pay support.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 10/23/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    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
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    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
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
    In California you can file a step-parent Adoption petition and if there are no snags it is not really hard, but needs to make sure all the paperwork is correct.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Get to an adoption attorney to do a step parent adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Law Office of Angela M. Riccio | Angela M. Riccio
    Yes, that is possible. I suggest you contact an attorney knowledgeable in adoption to discuss your options with the circumstances you described.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    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
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Consult with an experienced family law attorney about filing a petition to terminate the bio dad's legal rights and filing a petition for a step parent adoption.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    If the child has a "legal" father, that person's parental rights must first be terminated then you can adopt.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Petition the court to adopt.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You just need to file a petition for adoption.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    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
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    LAW OFFICE OF ANNE B. HOWARD | Anne B. Howard
    Do a step parent adoption. Either use an attorney that handles them or do it yourself. Not knowing the father will make things more difficult so using an attorney would help.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    File an action for step-parent adoption, but you wife needs to come clean about who the father is because the putative father has to be given notice of the proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/19/2012
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