My Husband Wants to Adopt My Child

Updated on May 16, 2012
G.B. asks from McKinney, TX
21 answers

I have a 6 yr old daughter and the biological father passed away before she was born. Of course, his name is not on the birth certificate because we were not married and only knew each other for a few months. Needless to say, I was young and naive at the time. I met my husband 4 yrs ago and he has been a father to my child ever since. She calls him daddy and they have an incredible bond; he considers her one of his own. He even has a 6 yr old daughter from a previous relationship and she and my daughter call each other sisters! We recently got married and he would like to adopt her and have his last name. My husband's family supports the idea 100% and considers my daughter part of their family. Unfortunately, my family disapproves, as does the biological father's family. This is something me and husband, as well as my daughter want. Are we wrong for doing so? Where do we begin the process if we do decide? Would we need a lawyer? We live in TX. Thanks for reading. :)

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for the helpful and insightful replies! As for the bio's family, my daughter does have a relationship with the grandmother and uncles, so I understand why this decision is difficult because she is the only link to their deceased family. My daughter will always have a relationship with her bio fathers family. The grandmother has had a hard time accepting that I'm married and my hubby is raising her son's daughter. All we can do is be understanding and help her in anyway we can. As for my parents and aunts, they feel the same way the bio family feels because to them it's not right since my hubby is not the actual father. They've seen and heard how my husband is and they do like him, so I don't know about them. Hubby understands how both families feel, but knows in his heart what he wants. I will consider hyphenating the name as some suggested since she does carry her bio father's last name. We will also get an attorney to help us. Thanks again so much for the replies! Me and hubby can't wait! :)

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

I feel like this is decision between your family unit, not extended family. It is what is best for your daughters and I think that is all that should count.

Family will come around, ya know?

Yes you do need an attorney. Family law by the way.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If you, your husband and daughter all want it then you shouldn't let others deter you. I would recommend hyphenating as well. My cousin had his name changed as a child and it can cause some delays with things like security clearance and passports. Maybe the hyphenation would help with that? I am just guessing of course but I would ask those questions!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it's up to you and your husband. the families will learn to deal.
it sounds like a great idea to me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

That depends: What are your family's reasons for being against it? They know your husband better than I do.....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

This is really a decision for.the two of you to make. Not your families. If he is raising her as his daughter, it would probably be best for everyone if he adopted her. That way if you two ever split up He would get visitation and you would get child support. You dont owe her fathers family an explanation, its not like you were even married to him, or had a long standing relationship. Im curious why your family objects, seems like they would be supportive.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

So, does the biological family see this child? Are they a part of her life?

That would make difference to me.

I imagine if my daghter had a child with someone and she passed away, that would still be our grandchild and I would be totally involved in my grandchild's life, I would not want anyone to adopt her and take away her link to our family.

I would be delighted, someone loved her enough, to want to adopt her, but I would be hurt and distressed.

If they are not involved in her life then I can see that it would be different.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think it's a great idea and will help your daughter to feel like a true part of the family.

I don't see why your family would be against it but I can understand the bio dad's familie's disapproval. You are, essentially, taking the only grandchild their child is able to give them. You can promise them an active role in her life and you can assure them that she will call them grandma and grandpa or whatever they want.

I would also assure them that you will make sure she understands all of this when she's older and that she knows that they are her true bio grandparents and then I would make sure I followed through and told her about her bio dad when she's older.

I'm so happy that your husband feels that connection with your daughter. That's awesome!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Yes, you need an adoption lawyer. Ask him or her questions. You do not have to have the families' support for him adopting her. You haven't given a reason as to why 2 of the 3 families are against it - only you know what their issue is. If their issue isn't dire or if it's just plain selfishness, then you aren't doing anything wrong.

It is wonderful that your daughter wants to be adopted, but it might be helpful for her to understand that nothing will "change" with him being her legal daddy. Sometimes little kids think that magic happens. You might want to talk to an adoption counselor and make sure you have that issue covered. You also might want to make sure that the counselor is available just in case the deceased father's family is unkind to her. (I would really hope YOUR family wouldn't be unkind.)

Good luck,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I can understand the biological family feeling hurt. They lost their son and now you are taking away their only link to him.

As far as I know the state of Texas should have some grandparents rights laws. You might call an attorney who advertises that they will do a free 30 minute consultation. They might be able to tell you if the biological family has any legal standing. Whether or not he was on the birth certificate they can ask the court to allow DNA testing to show she is their grandchild. They should not lose their grandchild because their son died.

Otherwise I think it is wonderful your hubby is wanting to adopt her. The only thing that would hold me back is the possibility of your marriage not working out. If you were to ever divorce he could seek 100% custody and keep you from her. That is unlikely of course but it could happen.

I would definitely ask an attorney about the way to do this and how to make sure what rights the grandparents have for visitation and other legalities.The laws change every year and their are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of grandparents getting more and more rights to their grandchildren every day. More and more of them are getting custody/guardianship and raising these grandchildren too.

Hopefully the attorney can ease your mind and help you and your hubby come to terms with your decision and go forward with the adoption.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from College Station on

Just because your husband adopts her, doesn't mean you have to cut ties with her birth father's family. She could have a hyphenated last name, still honoring his family and the man she calls Daddy.

I don't think you are wrong. This is actually a good thing, legally, since a lot of authorities do not recognize step parents in education or medical decisions, etc.

I don't really see why your family is against it. Do they not like your new hubs? And yes, you would need an adoption attorney. I would start there with a consultation to let you know what you are getting yourselves into both legally and financially.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Thats tough although your daughter is number one and explain to them as much as you will allow them to keep the memory of your ex alive for your daughter that she deserves to have a father, and a father is not something DNA makes. He is her father and should be able to leagally have all rights you do and she should be made an official member of his family. Have you told her and asked her?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

No, not wrong for wanting this but I would think that you could hyphenate the names.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

If this is what you want as a family then yes do it.

If her bio dad is passed away then all the more reason to do it. Your husband is the only dad that will ever be in her life, all the more reason to make it legal.

Out of respect if you want to, just because your husband adopts her doesn't mean she can't have any contact with her bio dad's family.

You will need to hire a lawyer for you and your husband.. the courts will appoint one for your daughter. Since there is no "dad" to dispute and as long as you can show death certificates there shouldn't be a problem with it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If this is what you want, what your husband wants, and what your daughter wants, that's really all that matters.
You will need an adoption lawyer....I have a fabulous one if you want me to PM you the info. In Ft Worth, they have "adoption day" a few times a year where they set the courtroom up with balloons and stuffed animals and spend the day finalizing adoptions. The judge is fabulous, poses with the family for pics, etc. The atty's paralegals even will help with pics and videotaping the ceremony. Afterwards, they let your child choose a stuffed animal. While you wait for your paperwork in the jury room, they have refreshements set up. It's a very celebratory ceremony and occasion. In all, it took us about 2 hours to finalize the adoption (I adopted overseas, but TX requires readoption too.) The State will reissue her birth certificate with your husband's name on it, and it takes about 4 -6 months to get the birth certificate back correctly. (Expect it to be wrong the first time.) Even though you don't live in Ft. Worth, you can do the adoption there. (I'm not sure why that's the rule, but it is.) With is being a step father adopting her, I'm not sure whether the State will require a homestudy to approve the adoption, but I would suspect they will. Expect a homestudy to run about $1,500 - 2,000 and finalizing the adoption to run somewhere around $1,000. Not sure of any other expenses or steps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think that is wonderful. You need to start by getting an attourney. They will help you from there. When my husband adopted my son they apointed my son an attorney and then one for the father. I am not sure how it will be since he's is deseased. But your attorney can tell you. You will have to do a social study that will consist of the entire family that live in the house. We did not have to do ours at the house we did ours in a councilors office. Your husband will have to get finger printed and a back ground check done. And I am not sure what else if laws have changed. We are also in TX. So it will probably be similar. They made us go to a class for adoptive parents. I honestly don't know how much it will cost since our attorney was paid for by a benifit through my husbands work at the time. I think it's great that he wants to adopt her and give her his name. Not a lot of guys out there care enough to do that and it's the special ones that do. My son knows he adopted and every year we celebrate it.

Good luck and God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There are many reason for having him or not having him adopt.
Mostly likey your families concerns are in the case of loss of you is that he would be the sole custodian and not one them. If that is not something you have discussed now would be the time. While I think it is wonderful that he wants to adopt her, just really sit down and decide if that is in fact what you are wanting out of the adoption. I know many families that have opted not have the other parents adopt, is because they already have and are comfortable with custodial plans should something happen to the parent. Often times is not with the step parent, but with maternal, or fraternal family members.

Good luck, your child is very lucky to have people in her life that care so much.



answers from Houston on

I have a unique perspective on this. PM me if you want to know the history that leads me to my opinion. I don't want to go into it in the public forum.

If he's a good man and will be 100% her father to her, go ahead with the adoption, and have her take his name so that you all have the same family name.

Celebrate this. She will be more secure growing up and can enjoy knowing that she's had two daddies who love her. The bio dad's family will always feel sorrow about losing their son. We can hope that they will love your daughter enough to celebrate that she is being brought up in a loving home. I can't imagine why your family doesn't embrace this idea, unless there is something about your husband they don't trust. But even if they aren't 100% in your corner on this, you have to do what you know to be best for your daughter.



answers from San Antonio on

This is your decision to make. A family attorney would be helpful but I had clients that. Handled the adoption themselves. You will need a. Homestudy, here in san Antonio they run from 300 to 600. Good luck!



answers from Victoria on

I am sorry the family is not supportive. I personally would want to know why. If its a thing of being disrespectful of the bio dad I would explain the reasons why it would be great for her to have a dad. Not that I have any say in it but I support the husband wanting to be the adopted father. If they have issues I would want those worked out first. What is there exact reasons for disaproval find that out before moving on.

No your never wrong for wanting your child to have a mother and a father. Its truly a very healthy thing to do.



answers from New York on

You may not necessarily need an attorney to get this done but the family law courthouse would be the place you would go to find out what paperwork needed to be submitted, what fees you would need to pay, and what steps you would need to take to go through this process and it is a process. If after talking to the courts and you find out it is more complicated than you thought it would be then get an attorney and at least this way you would know what to expect from the attorney and the possible timetable from the courts to hold the attorney properly accountable.



answers from New York on

I think that is wonderful. Families should not have any input. The decision
is between you and your husband. Sounds like you have a great guy! I would assume you need a lawyer. I cannot imagine it would be too involved,
but I am not sure. Good luck.

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