What are my options if my fiancé wants to adopt my daughter but her biological father won’t agree to it? 1 Answers as of October 31, 2016

My fiancé and I have been together since my daughter was 16 months old. She's 5 now. She visits with her paternal grandparents once a week and her biological father has the option to see her there, but doesn't often. He has contributed a total of $200 child support her whole life and no other support of any kind. He has been in and out of jail for sever assaults (including breaking his father’s ribs) and also for DUIs. My fiancé has supported her in every way a father does and we want to make it legal and official that she is his but her biological father will not sign his rights away. Even though it's what's best for her.

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Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
First, there can be no termination proceeding under these circumstances until an adoption is filed. Is it your plan to get married? This would show a more stable relationship and thus make it more likely that the home study would recommend adoption and termination. A court can order termination if it finds it to be appropriate under the circumstances. If you were married, you'd have a strong case. Right now you have a less strong case. You don't say if there is a child support order. If there isn't one, why haven't you gotten one? The father has no obligation to pay if there is no order. Please consult with an attorney as your situation is complex.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/31/2016
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