38 answers

Giving up Rights to a Child

I have a question that I need answered. My husband was told a few years ago that he has a son from a one night stand he has been paying child support and has never seen his son, the son is now in 4th grade and the man in his life is the only father he knows. He is wanting to adopt him and my husband is ok with it. But he (husband) is wanting to know if he signs his rights away will all his responsiblity go away or will he still have to pay child support?

the reason my husband never seen him is because the mother does not want him to disrupt her sons life do to his age.

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Yes, once he signs away his parental rights, he no longer will need to pay child support.

I have a niece who's daughter's father signed away all rights, and who's stepfather eventually adopted her and gave her his name. It has all worked out very well, and for the better for all.

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Once a child is adopted, the adoptive parent assumes all rights, responsibilities and financial obligations.

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My son's biological father is in UT. We are in TX. The bio-dad signed his rights away and my husband adopted my son. The bio-dad legally does not have to pay support any longer...My son is now my husbands responsibility.

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If the other guy adopts the child, then all of the obligations and rights of the father transfer to him. That means "say so" about what the child does, medical concerns, etc and also obligations to provide for that child financially, including insurance, etc. It also ends and unspecified inheritance rights (divided amongst "the children" would no longer include that child).

It will NOT eliminate or alleviate any PAST support that may still be owed. But, the mother may agree to waive or forgive that debt (if there is any). And if she does, get it in writing and added by the court into the official records. If there is any support owed on behalf of the child to anyone other than the mother (state aid, etc) then that must still be repaid.

To clarify: your husband terminating his parental rights is NOT the same thing as the child being adopted by another man. They are two separate things that DO 2 different things. Terminating his rights ONLY cuts of your husband's RIGHTS---NOT his obligations. They are not the same thing. The adoption would REPLACE your husband AS the father, so all rights AND obligations become the adoptive father's (again, except for past due support).
hth

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In most states, as long as there is a prospective adoptive stepparent in waiting, the biological parent is able to 'sign away' parental rights. Once the minor child is adopted all responsibility (financial and otherwise) falls upon the legal guardians/parents. In this case, the mother and step father.
Also, just putting my 2 cents in, but your DH sounds like an awesome man. My faith in humanity is always renewed when I hear of a father (no matter how physically absent) who pays the support like a grown and responsible man, rather than dragging the child and his/her mother through paternity testing, etc. Wow, he gets a gold star for the year!

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Absolutely the other man needs to take on FULL responsibility if he wants to be his legal father. We are in the same situation with my grandson. His biological donor is paying support. But if my daughter finds a good man to take the role of father, the other man can go his merry way.

But I have to ask... Does your husband really WANT to give up his rights? Did he want to have a relationship with his son? He should have one if he wants. It's not too late.

I don't know your situation. But I can only say my grandson is the best thing since sliced bread and I consider his biological seed donor a dumb punk for not coming around and being a real father to him. He deserves more than just money.

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oooh man...was a paternity test ever done to prove your husband was the father?

I don't know the state laws of Texas on relinquishing or terminating parental rights...I would hire a lawyer - who will run a paternity test to ensure the child is actually your husbands. If not - you may be able to sue for all the support paid...I THINK...I hate to be sue happy!

It's sad that your husband has been financially responsible for this boy but never even got a chance to bond with him!!! My red flags are up!! It sounds like she's "hidden" him away from your husband...I know - I'm PROBABLY reading too much into it - but it's wrong IN MY OPINION to have a parent just be financially responsible and not active.

Bottom line? I would hire an attorney to make sure you and your husband are protected. I would also document EVERYTHING so that IF by chance one day this boy comes looking for his blood father - the boy will know that your husband TRIED..

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Once his rights are terminated, he will no longer have to pay child support. Any unpaid balance will still be subject to enforcement but future balances will stop accruing as of the date the rights are terminated. Your husband sounds like a good man who has continually put the best interests of this child ahead of his own. There aren't many men who would pay child support for a child with whom they have no relationship, and giving up rights must be a tough decision too even if it's for him to be adopted by the only father figure he knows.

If he hasn't had a DNA test done I would encourage him to do that just so that he knows for sure that the child was his (I'm assuming that he would have had this done when the woman contacted him but I know guys who never questioned it).

Best of luck to all involved.

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He could have seen his son - even tho the mother didn't want it. And, btw, not to be catty, but is he sure this child is his? Just wondering how a support order was done! (I sometimes wonder about people's motives - guess it comes from what I've seen....)

Anyway - from what I know, the other fella cannot adopt this child until your hubby's rights are terminated. Courts/atty can do up the termination papers - and only then can the child be adopted by the other person.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, once he signs away his parental rights, he no longer will need to pay child support.

I have a niece who's daughter's father signed away all rights, and who's stepfather eventually adopted her and gave her his name. It has all worked out very well, and for the better for all.

2 moms found this helpful

hire a lawyer, make sure that the child is actually his, if it turns out that its not his, sue her for the child support that he has already paid. if the child turns out to actually be his, sue her for violating his parental rights, nobody said he had to play nice, shes not, so why should he.
if he signs away his parental rights then he will not have to pay child support any more
K. h.

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Once a child is adopted, the adoptive parent assumes all rights, responsibilities and financial obligations.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband adopted my daughter when her bio-father gave up his rights. Once the rights are terminated, he will no longer have to pay child support, as the new father is filling this obligation.

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A DNA test should have been done before he started paying child support so he was sure who he is paying for.
If he signs away parental rights, he should not be responsible for child support.

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Yes, if he signs his rights away and another man adopts him, he is no longer legal liable for the support of that child, meaning child support should stop. He will no longer "legally" be the father and have no legal right to the kid. Some people say that this is not true, but he should only have to pay if he has back support that he still owes, in which case he'll pay until that is paid.

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Yes. The other man becomes the father and assumes all responsibility in every in every state in the union.
Let your husband enjoy his freedom. I hope this helps you and your family. It'll mean more money every month.

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My sister's brother in law signed away his rights. He has no obligations. It is very sad for the rest of the family. This was his choice though. I think the little girl would be about 7 now. There has been no more contact ever.

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If the other man adopts him it will be his name on the birth certificate and he would be the only father in the eyes of the law. Therefore your husband would not have any rights or responsibilities for the child whatsoever.

1 mom found this helpful

My son's biological father is in UT. We are in TX. The bio-dad signed his rights away and my husband adopted my son. The bio-dad legally does not have to pay support any longer...My son is now my husbands responsibility.

1 mom found this helpful

If your husband wants to see his son, he can petition the court for some kind of visitation.

I believe, if he signs away his rights and someone else adopts him then that other man becomes his father with all the rights and responsibilities.

1 mom found this helpful

My son's father signed his rights away to my son. My husband is the only dad he has known. It is my understanding that once you give up the right to your child you also give up the child support payments. May want to call a lawyer though just to be sure.
L.

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If he signs his rights away then no more child support and his visitations will only be if his mom allows. My sons dad also has to have him on his child support, but if he signs his rights away then that too will no longer have to be paid. Those papers means he gets nothing if he signs them.
If this really is the situation and he has never been allowed to see his son, (and if I was in your husbands spot) then yeah, I would sign my rights over. No real loss over it since she was keeping him from him anyway.

once you give up all rights the child becomes the adoptive fathers legal responsibility.

If he signs his rights away, no more child support.

As far as I know, when he gives up his rights, he gives up his responsibility to that child so he should not have to pay any more child support but if that is what he wants, make SURE that it's in the agreement too, just to make doubly sure there's no misunderstanding to the other party involved. Hope this helps, good luck.

talk to a lawyer to be sure

If he signs away his rights, he will not owe child support any longer. However it also waives any rights to visitation (doesn't sound like that is an issue, really). I would do this through a good family law attorney to ensure it's done properly and your husband's interests are represented.

I swear this is true. A friend of mine is living on social security disability, he has mental deficiencies. He gave up his parental rights and the step dad adopted his child.

He is still having to pay child support each and every month, he has taken the termination orders and the adoption papers to child support enforcement several times. They tell him that child is still his and he is morally obligated and legally to pay child support until his child is at least 18, if they go to college and/or live at home supported by the mom then he has to pay until he is 21.

The step dad and mom divorced, he disowned the child, and the child support my friend is paying is the only support the child gets. He is not allowed to see his child either.

I think that each state, county, court, judge is going to have a different opinion. If he goes to court to do this he ought to make sure he has an attorney.

first he needs to have a DNA test done if he never had one done and if he is not the father he needs to see what can be done to get the money back he gave them for support or just say f it, and get a lawyer and see what he can do but i am 90% sure if he signs his rights away he will not longer have to pay support

I'm in Texas and my daughter's fathers rights were terminated. No child support and no contact till 18. This is how it is in Texas.

I agree, no rights no child support. I know someone who went through this and her ex does not pay child support.

This is correct once he signs over his rights the child support will go away but if he's not current w/the child support he still owes what is remaining unless the mother waives it. Also all of this needs to be written up by a lawyer.

Kudos to your husband for doing whats right for this child. Wish there were more people out there like this.

Child support (for both bio and adoptive father) is such a non-factor when the child's best interest should be the focus.

My husband's stepfather adopted him and actually his birth certificate was amended and lists his stepfather as his legal father, so I guess his father would not have had any responsibility legally.

make sure you read the papers before you sign them. My brothers ex told him he would not have to pay child support anymore if he gave up his rights and let his 2 girls be adopted by her new husband. He took her word for it. Well several years later, she hit him up. He had back child suppoert to pay. His girls are 30 & 28 and he is still paying back child support. Court costs were added . I know, what a dummy. He had no money and no lawyer. he trusted her. READ.........

If he gives up his rights, he is no longer required to pay child support.

Good luck! :)

i can understand (not really the right word) you hubby giving up his rights. i beileve that is correct that if his rights are given up that he will no longer have to pay child support. i would however make sure your step son knew/knows that your husband (his bio father) really loves him. your husband could make the child feel very neglected or tossed aside, not loved, or wanted....even though they never saw each other or have much contact. that is still rejection and could play a negative part in his life. i would view it more in a baby adoption sort of way. like he would need to expalin that his father is doing a wonderful job rasing him...he loves his son and knows this would be best for him, if some day he wants to contact your husband he can. let him know. and make sure the son hears it...not a letter that the mother can toss. but truly you could call a family lawyer to find the answer. good luck. its not an easy thing for your husband to give up rights and i would make sure he was very clear on exactly what that ment for him and is sons relationship or not being able to have one.

Oh boy, this is tough. It was great of your husband to step up and pay child support, but he should have demanded a paternity test and some visitation. He needs to see a family lawyer about this, but I think the answer is that if he signs his rights away he also gives up responsibility. My feeling is that he should keep some contact, at least meet the child, and let him know he's available for medical issues and so on if the boy ever wants to know more about his birth father.
Good luck!

Yes, if he gives up all parental rights, all financial responsibility goes away as well. Or, at least it should. It did in my brothers case.

If his son is bonded to this other man, it would be very hard for him to have to meet and get to know his "real" father at this stage. Even though your husband has rights, the child's best interest is what matters here. It's important not to disrupt his life unnecessarily - I think his mother is right. It isn't clear from your question whether your husband wants a relationship with him? Has he tried and been closed out? That isn't fair; but maybe he never tried?
Perhaps if your husband wants to get to know this little boy, arrangements can be carefully made for that, but it would need to be handled very sensitively.

Yes, he can sign away his rights if another man adopts the child. But that is also permanently binding to the adoptive father/husband too. Meaning, that if the mother and the adoptive father/husband divorce or separate one day, that adoptive father/husband will be legally responsible for child support.

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