How can I help my husband to adopt my daughter? 16 Answers as of June 27, 2011

My husband and I would like to terminate my daughter's biological father's rights so my new husband can adopt her. I don't get the full court ordered child support and what I do get right now is from unemployment. He has not seen her since 9/2008 and has made no attempt to contact me. My fear is if I choose to do this what are the chances it could back fire and he could get visitation?

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Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
The easiest way would be through a step-parent adoption where the child's natural father agrees to terminate his parental rights as a part of the adoption.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/27/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
You always runs these types of risks. If you press for a TPR, he might express a greater interest. If you leave things the way they are, your new husband would be dad, just not adoptive or biological.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/23/2011
Pontrello Law
Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
Consent must be sign by both biological parents. help him get the fathers consent.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/22/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
Under Washington law certainly your husband could file an action to adopt your daughter. If the court has been involved to enter child support, it is not clear why the father does not have visitation rights now. Please consult with an attorney in your area as to your specific situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/22/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
The law in Colorado permits a stepparent adoption over parental objection in one or both of two situations: abandonment for more than one year before the Petition is filed or (2) failure to pay any child support for one year before the Petition is filed. You and your husband will have to prove one of these in order to terminate the father's rights unless he consents. There is nothing you can do to prevent the father from seeking court approved parenting time (Colorado no longer uses the term visitation) if he wants to establish/re-establish a relationship with the child. If you were never married to the bio-father, the fact that he has never asked for parenting time could be strong evidence of abandonment, but it appears that he is making some of the child support payment will eliminate the justification based only on nonsupport. Abandonment is not a simple yes or no question - it depends on all the facts that combine to show an "intent". If you claim abandonment and lose, it is very likely that the father will then seek, and obtain, specific parenting time rights.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/21/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Your husband won't be able to adopt under these circumstances unless the biological father consents in writing. He might consent, if his child support obligation is terminated.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The risk of the bio dad obtaining visitation is sleight because he would have to get a lawyer and go to court to achieve that. It does not sound as if his finances could afford that right now. See a domestic relations attorney about the adoption and about the risks inherent in that.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Your spouse is going to have to file for what we call, in the state of Washington, a "step-parent" adoption. Colorado law will specify the particular steps that your spouse has to go through. It will likely involve serving the biological father with the petition and having the court appoint a guardian ad litem to do an investigation. There is no way that I can predict whether this process could "back fire" on you. However, normally an adoption of the child would terminate the biological father's obligation to pay child support. Therefore, this might be the way to "sell" the idea to him.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Your concern is legitimate. However, no lawyer can tell you the odds or chances if you will, that your ex will want to see his daughter if you attempt a step-parent adoption. You are asking if someone will do something that they have a legal right to do. What I can tell you is this. A father (whether he acts like one or not) has some rights, including the right of visitation until a court terminates those rights. The Termination is part of the adoption process, but the father can argue he wants to keep his rights in which case, you bare the burden of establishing he is not a good father, it would negatively affect your daughter to allow him to keep his rights and it would benefit your daughter to have a man who wants to be a Daddy as her father. That last one is a "no-brainer" in my book and pretty simple to establish, the former however is a more difficult task. The best advice anyone can give you is to either make an appointment and give very personal details to a lawyer so he/she can assess all the facts and give you advice, OR . . . and this may be difficult, simply call your ex and ask if he has any intent of being a father. Then ask if he would be willing to allow your husband to be Daddy, and that it would cost him (the ex) nothing, you and your husband would hire the lawyer, do all the legal work, complete the adoption and he (the ex) would not have to pay child support any longer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    You would need to file a termination of parental rights suit. He could then voluntarily agree or it could go to a contested trial. There would need to be grounds to terminate his rights, ie failure to accept parental responsibility. This is not easy to get unless he agrees or doesn't show up and at any time prior to termination, he can file for visitation in the family matter. You would also need to file an adoption petition and need a step parent adoption study. This is a difficult process to do on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    That would be a possibility.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The biological father's parental rights can be terminated for purposes of adoption by either 1) consent of the biological father or 2) proving that the biological father has neither contacted nor provided support for the child for over a year. If the biological father has provided some child support from his unemployment benefits during the last year (although I am curious how you learned of that, given that he has made no attempt to contact you), it is unlikely that the Court would terminate his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Abandonment is one basis for a termination of parental rights. ultimately, if the parent has not seen the child since 2008, it would seem unlikely that a court would grant any visitation that was unsupervised and, with the limited facts provided, seems instead to be a strong basis to terminate parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You need to seek the advice of an adoption lawyer in your state. While the legal reality is that he might have standing to file a counterclaim for visitation in response to a contested step-parent adoption, he might not have much of a case and it could still be worth your filing the adoption petition.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    It's virtually impossible to terminate a parent's rights without their consent regardless of how horrible they are. So, yes - the chances of something like that "back-firing" and resulting in (more) visitation rights are actually higher.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Usually if he is paying some support you will not succeed at an adoption without his consent. See a local adoption attorney with details to know for sure.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/21/2011
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