How do I terminate my ex husband's child custody rights so that my new husband can adopt our children? 24 Answers as of July 11, 2013

How do I go about terminating parental rights if the father is no longer in my child's life and my new husband wants to adopt my children?

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Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
You must do a step-parent adoption. The biological father must consent or you must show he's abandoned the children.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/5/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
If the biological parent is willing to terminate rights, you may seek a termination of parental rights and step parent adoption. If the termination occurs, any child support obligation ceases prosepectively. If there is no agreement, you must proceed with a contested termination of parental rights which can be much more difficult. Abandonment financial and physical, may be a basis for such an action.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/5/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
If your ex husband has not supported his children pursuant to a court order of child support for six months, or if he has not contacted or communicated with them without just cause for six months or more, he may have waived the requirement of his consent to any adoption. If that is true then the judge in the adoption case will decide whether or not the adoption is in the children's best interest, and grant or deny the adoption accordingly.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/1/2011
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
As a part of a step-parent adoption, you can request that the biological father voluntarily give up his parental rights. However, it gets much more complicated if you have to attempt to have his parental rights terminated without his cooperation.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/1/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You file an adoption action and in the process seek and order terminating his parental rights. I wrote on article relating to this issue on Facebook and on my website.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/1/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    The process is similar to any adoption, it starts with a petition and in that Petition you ask the Court to terminate bio dad and allow step-dad to adopt. I would be happy to discuss cost, time lines, and issues involved with you if you live in Dallas or Collin Counties.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    The situation that you are describing is called a "step parent" adoption. How easy or complex it is going to be will depend on a number of factors. One of them, however, is whether the children's biologic father is willing to consent to the process. Regardless, your spouse will have to file a petition to adopt the children. You will have to join in that petition. The biological father will have to be served. There will likely have to be a post placement study and report done. If the home study comes back good, and if the bio-father consents, and if all of the notices and forms are properly done, then, a decree of adoption can be entered. Because all of this can get rather complex, particularly if the biological father either doesn't consent or can't be found, my advice would be to hire an adoption attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Your new husband can file a Petition for a Step-Parent Adoption and as a part of that case the Court can terminate the father's parental rights. Termination will require either (a) the father's consent or (b) a ruling by the Court that during the one year prior to filing for the adoption the father has failed, without just cause, to financially support the children or has abandoned them. If you don't believe the father will consent, you should first consult an attorney to evaluate the situation and assess the chances for accomplishing termination over the father's objection.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    In Ohio you can initiate proceedings for a step-parent adoption in your county's Probate Court. The law in Ohio is that a natural parent's consent to adoption is not required if they have had no contact or support with the children in the past year. They are still entitled to notice, however, and may contest if they were involved in the past year. You should contact an experienced attorney in your area to discuss your options and how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    It's not as difficult as you might think. Cost is about $2,000. We have an attorney in our Brookfield office who handles these matters.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    You would have to obtain your former husband's consent. If he is consenting, the process is pretty straightforward. If he is not, then there would have to be some sort of abandonment in order to terminate his parental rights (which is extremely difficult to prove - requires no contact, no support, no nothing for at least several years. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Go to Probate court & make an application to start.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You need to file an action in Probate Court for your husband to adopt the kids.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Consent is the easiest way get the real fathers consent. unless the father is a murdering pedophile parental rights are very difficult to terminate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You should retain a family law attorney and discuss the facts, including how long the biological father has failed to communicate with or pay child support for the children. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, you can file a step parent adoption. If the biological father will not consent, you can have a trial on the matter and the Court decides whether to grant the adoption and terminate the father's rights at the same time.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If your new husband wants to adopt your children, and your ex-husband hasn't been in contact with your children for over a year and hasn't supported them for over a year, the Judge in the adoption case can terminate your ex-husband's parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Here in Ohio the mother must either have the bio-father sign a release, or show that she gave him the opportunity to sign a release. He also must be out of the child's life for over as year. An adoption can take as long as six months, and the paperwork must be properly prepared.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    In order to terminate rights, you would first need to petition the court and provide notice to your former husband. The court will then set a hearing to terminate the rights. After the rights have been terminated you may then file your petition that your new husband adopt your children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Short version: You file and conclude a Termination of Rights action, and then file and conclude an adoption. Obviously, both are considerably more difficult and complicated than simply filing a form, and can be intricate if opposed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    Our firm is very comfortable with the Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption process.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If your ex will not agree to voluntarily terminate his parental rights, your husband can file a contested adoption petition and if your ex has not paid child support and has not had contact with the child in at least a year, the judge might terminate the father's rights. Seek the advice of an adoption attorney about the details of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The very important step here is to hire a good lawyer with adoption experience. The termination of parental rights is part of the adoption itself. Even a slight misstep can prevent an adoption. The details of handling the case also vary by county. My office has handled adoptions across Georgia for 31 years, so feel free to contact me with details. I can better advise you of the steps with more detailed facts. If there is a possibility the father may consent, the case will be somewhat simpler, but adoptions can, in some cases, happen without consent. Over 99% of lawyers have never done an adoption. This is a specialized area of lawyer where experience matters. It is far too complex to do pro se.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
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