Will I still need my child's father's consent on a step parent adoption and why? 7 Answers as of June 29, 2015

My son is almost 10 (will be in March) and would like for my husband to adopt him and wants to take his last name. His father and I were never married and he's never taken me to court to gain any sort of parental rights or visitation of our son. There is a child support order in effect that began in 2006. My son's fathers has never kept a consistent active role in our son's life. We don't see him or hear from him for months at a time. He went a year without seeing/talking to our son on 2 occasions so far. He's $8000-9000 behind on our support order. Will I still need his consent on a step-parent adoption and name change?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
You will need to have him to consent to step parent adoption. If he does not, you have to serve him with the documents and ask the court to terminate his parental rights. If you have a support order, you must have a parentage order. Consult with an adoption attorney. Terminating parental rights is complicated and requires the expertise of a lawyer that practices in this area.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2015
The Gufford Law Firm, P.A.
The Gufford Law Firm, P.A. | Joseph Gufford
Yes, you will need child's father's consent because he has been "identified" as the child's father by you and via court order. Normally, I would contact the father and see if he would consent. However, in the last few cases I have done with absentee father's, I have found it better to serve them with the action and then get the consent. Out of spite, it seems that they go into hiding and it is much harder to serve them. The name change happens automatically in the adoption action. You do not have to file a separate action besides the adoption case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/29/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Well, you will need first to terminate his parental rights. If he agrees, then it's a few minutes before a judge. If he does not consent, then you have to make it and involuntary termination of parental rights. You might well prevail, but it's a lot more effort. I strongly suggest you reach in and experienced family law attorney to advise and represent you. It's almost always worth the investment.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/29/2015
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
To simplify the adoption process, the biological father should consent to the procedure. A good negotiation tool would be to agree to waive any support arrears and remind biological dad that he would have no future legal financial obligation to this child once the child is adopted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2015
David A. Browde, P.C.
David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
Yes. Because it's the law.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/26/2015
Click to View More Answers: