18 answers

Adoption - Dallas,TX

I was wondering if anyone has been through my situation and what did they do. I have a 16 year old daughter who is being raised by a man that is her "daddy" but not biologically. I have been with him since I was 2 months pregnant with her and she knows him as her daddy. Her biological dad has not seen her since she was 2 and has never supported her financially. He is not on her birth certificate. My question is how do I go about my husband adopting her legally. She does know about the other man so that's not an issue. Thank you

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if bio- father will sign and officially terminate his parental rights - it will be so much eaiser and less costly! Trick is you have to know where to find him!

I have a similar situation with my oldest son. What we did was put my husband's name on his birth certifiate (since his biological father's name wasn't on it). This gave my son his last name and we just paid the application fee for name change. Much cheaper and very simple.

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Hi S., I was around 11 when my stepfather adopted me with similar circumstances. The attorney my parents hired sent a letter to my biological father who lived out of state. He sent it back unopened which allowed our attorney to move forward given he never paid child support anyway. There were no additonal issues and it happened fairly quickly. Good luck.

You will need to terminate her biological father's rights and then your husband can adopt her. Depending on the specific facts of your situation, you will have to file a suit to terminate parental rights combined with a suit for adoption. I don't know if you know where her bio dad is or not but you will have to give him notice of the suit. If he hasn't ever paid support, he may be willing to voluntarily terminate his rights. You will also need to have a homestudy done on your home by a licensed social worker in order for your husband to adopt her. Your daughter will also need to consent to the adoption. My firm handles these situations frequently and may be able to help you www.txfamilylawatty.com

Email me at ____@____.com I had a similar situationa nd I think I can help you.

Hello, S.,

I practice family law in Wise and Denton counties. I'd be happy to help out with your situation. This is something that I do very often in my practice and love being able to help with just this type of situation. It doesn't cost as much as you would think and is fairly simple.

I'm sure all the responses here are well-intentioned, but I just caution you about taking any kind of short cut to get to what seems to be your ultimate goal - your husband having a legal relationship to your daughter. You do have options, but if this is your goal, the other suggestions likely won't get you there.

You can reach me at ###-###-####.


We went through adoption 5 years ago with my son. My lawyer strongly suggested terminating rights. You can add his name to the bc but the biological father can come back and seek a paternity test. Although it did cost more, I feel better knowing he can not contest the termination of rights or the adoption ( it is 2 separate filings). There is a way that you can do all of this on your, but they make it difficult. Good luck!

My husband had this exact situation when he was a kid. He went to court and filed a petition for a name change from bio name to stepdad's name. Once that was granted, his mother filed to get a new birth certificate reflecting stepdad's name. The original birth certificate did not have any father listed. Hope this helps... I think it's just a matter of petitioning the court...

I am thinking the biological father should sign his paternal rights away. Then legally adopt with adoption lawyer in your state. If you are in Dallas David Cole is great. I am not 100% that is what you do but call an adoption attorney or google info on line. Just ask your question in search and you should get some answers on line. Good luck! L.

Yes there are a lot of cases like this. You should call and set up an appointment with Tom Jester of Minor & Jester attorney's at Law. Not only is he a Family Law attorney but he also use to own an adoption agency so he is obviously very familiar and well versed in cases exactly like yours.

Their phone # is ###-###-####. They have a metro # if that is long distance for you but I do not know what that is off the top of my head, you can find it on-line though.

Good luck! You can send me a message if you have any other questions.

I don't know the answer to your question but I strongly encourage you to get this taken care of right away. I had a dear friend in a similar situation, sadly she was killed in a car accident leaving behind her son and the "daddy" (there were three boys total two were natural children with the daddy and one was hers from a previous relationship. She and one of the natural sons were killed in the accident) the "daddy" was able to legally adopt the son without any problem but unfortunately that gave them one more thing to deal with in such a difficult situation.

I'm not trying to bring you down with this story I just encourage you to get this taken care of ASAP! life is to precious to let this be unresolved

When my husband adopted our oldest son we had permission from his biological father. My husband was in the military so our paperwork was drawn up by JAG. There was a form that the bio signed and sent back and then the process started with a social worker and all that. It took quite a while but when it was all over we got a new birth certificate. I think the court requested it for us as we didn't have to do anything to get that. I am sure that some of the fees we paid up front covered that cost. Good luck!

Hi S.,

I am a family law attorney in Tarrant County. Please give me a call and I would be happy to discuss your options. My number is ###-###-####


if bio- father will sign and officially terminate his parental rights - it will be so much eaiser and less costly! Trick is you have to know where to find him!

In our case the biological father who was not on the birth certificate signed a waiver of potential rights. Which was basically saying if he was the father then he gives up his rights. That saved us money on proving paternity and then terminating. The the adoption went along as planned with just one court appearance. Also, I don't know how much it would make a difference with her age. At 18 she is considered an adult so you may not even have to deal with the biological father at all.

I have a similar situation with my oldest son. What we did was put my husband's name on his birth certifiate (since his biological father's name wasn't on it). This gave my son his last name and we just paid the application fee for name change. Much cheaper and very simple.

This goes back a little while since I worked for a family law attorney, but the Secretary of State has a database where father's can make a claim to a child. If he has never registered, then it is considered abandonment of a child.

You and your husband will need to sign a couple of affidavits with a notary. I would just research the forms through the Secretary of State of Texas.

This happened to me when I was 5. I know my mom had to get my biological father to sign the papers terminating his rights and then had the birth cerificate changed. If I remember correctly it's only until they are 18. After that the bio dad can contact her. In my case, I found my bio dad when I turned 18 because I always wanted him to know that I turned out great without him. We are really close now as I am also with my "dad". good luck.

In Texas you will need to legally terminate the parental rights of your daughter's biological father and then her daddy can adopt her. If you know her biological father's location and he does not object to the termination, this is a relatively simple process. If you do not know his location and/or he objects to the termination of his parental rights, this is a much more difficult process.

I highly recommend David Cole, as well. He covers all the bases and loose ends to make sure the adoption is done correctly and is permanent.

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