What are my custody rights regarding my adoptive children? 22 Answers as of June 10, 2013

When we married, my husband's children were 2 & 3. I adopted them when they were 4&5. They are now 11 & 12. What are my rights to custody, etc should we ever divorce? Someone is telling him that if that should happen he could have my names removed from their birth certificates and take them away from me. Is this true?

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Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
Once you adopt children, you are their legal parent. You have the same rights regarding them as a birth parent. A divorce would not involve any change to your status as mother or cause any change to the birth certificates.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/31/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
No this is not true. If you do divorce the children are treated as it they were your natural/biological children.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/27/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
No. As an adoptive parent, your rights are the same as a birth parent. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/26/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
NO! this is not true. You adopted them, and that means you are their mother! If he says anything like this to them, it will cause them a lot of confusion and damage. Call me, I can assist you on this. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 5/26/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
No. You're rights are no different than if they were your biological children. You are on equal standing with the other parent.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/26/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    In Oregon, when a person adopts children they become their children as if born to them. They are your children! You have all the rights, responsibilities and obligations that a birth parent has.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Since you have gone through an adoption proceeding, his rights and yours are the same. To remove you, a TPR application would need to be filed in the probate court.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    After an adoption the legal relationship between you and the children is no different than if you were the biological mother. Your husband is wrong.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law an adoptive parent is a full parent. You have the same rights as your husband and I do not know how he could take those rights away from you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation-by phone or in person-about this situation. In Washington, at least, if you're a true adoptive parent, you have the same rights as a biological parent and can certainly petition for custody in divorce proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    This is not true. Once you adopt a child, it is as if you are the birth parent. You will have all the same rights as a birth parent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    An adoptive parent has the same rights to custody and parenting time as a biological parent. From a legal perspective, there is no difference. Your name cannot be removed from birth certificates or other records of the children without a court order, which would seem unlikely without more.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    I don't believe that's true. However, it would be a good idea to talk about it with a matrimonial attorney before initiating or finalizing anything. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia. Generally, an adoption would serve to give you the same parental rights as any biological parent. However, you really need to retain an experienced family law lawyer in your community to address and research this and all other issues that will inevitably arise in your situation, especially if a divorce is a possibility.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Michigan and Ohio and everywhere else I know, by adopting the children, your rights to their custody, and consortium are as good as your husband's. Discuss this issue with your attorney before filing to make sure the issue is considered properly by the court.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You have the same rights to your children as your husband has, because you adopted them. They are your children. The Court could award you custody of your children. Custody is awarded on a "best interests" basis.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    In New York, They are considered as if they were your biological children. If you were to divorce and seek to continue the relationship with the children then you would not lose them. In New York, the absent parent has given implied consent to adoption or relinquishment pursuant to Section 26-10A-9 as outlined below:
    1. The absent parent has abandoned the adoptee, failing to offer financial and /or emotional support for a period over 6 months from the filing of this petition.
    2. The absent parent has knowingly left the adoptee with the other parent without provisions for support and without communication, or otherwise maintaining a significant parental relationship with the adoptee for a period of over 6 months from the filing of this petition. The grounds for the termination of parental rights is different for each state so you should contact an attorney in your state.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Whomever told him that either does not know the facts or they do not know the law . . . or both. An adoptive parent is a legal parent for all intents and purposes. When you adopted them, you became Mom legally and factually with every right under law you would have had if you gave birth to them. During a divorce, if you go there, the relevant fact is not who is the biological parent, the relevant question is "Are you the legal parent" of these children. If you adopted them, you are the legal parent and that means you can seek custody, get child support from him, or pay child support to him if he gets primary custody. But he cannot simply remove your name from the birth certificates. He would have to file a motion to terminate your rights (think of it as divorcing you from the kids - this is a very difficult thing to do unless he can show you are an unfit parent and even then it is not easy).
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    There are your children; the same as if you gave them birth. If you divorce, the Court will order a parenting plan in your children's best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
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