Seeking Legal Advice on Adoption....

Updated on March 08, 2008
C.D. asks from Dallas, GA
20 answers

I have 2 young children from a previous relationship and their biological father has never been around. My now husband would like to adopt them but we have no clue as to what to do or how to go about this. Does anyone have any advice? Please help!

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Y.D.

answers from Atlanta on

yes I can definitely help you call me at ###-###-#### my website is www.prepaidlegal.com/hub/mdegraff email [email protected]____.com we offer great legal services include adoption at a very affordable price you'll be able to talk to others who are using the service for adoption too.
here's another useful site www.greatjoboption.com contact me
Y.

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D.D.

answers from Atlanta on

Try contacting an adoption attorney. You could call Ruth Claiborne - she is very knowledgeable. I think she's located near Lenox Road. Good luck! D. D.

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A.T.

answers from Augusta on

Hello! My husband is adopting my son too and its great! all I can tell you (out of my experience) is to see a lawyer. Please call around though. I found the cheapest lawyer, 1475$ later, and its taken practically forever for it to get done. (its still not done, it should be done next month or april..heres to hoping) I know they need to get ahold of your ex and pray he'll give up his rights but since hes not been around (like mine) your chances of winning is high. Other than that, I cant tell ya much! Good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Columbia on

You have to contact family court in your area. The process is lengthy. First, they will have to try to terminate the biological fathers parental rights- to do this, they have to contact him and let him know what your intentions are. If he refuses, he can be held liable for any and all back child support- that alone is usually enough to scare a non present parent from fighting it. If he does refuse, and has been paying child support all along, then you can take him to court to have the rights terminated without his consent- having not been around the children is going to be enough for the court- especially if the intention is to have the children adopted by your husband- who is basically their dad.
My son also has a non present biological father. And then he has a Dad (my husband), But I do not want to terminate the biological fathers rights, because if I do, he will not be required to pay child support any longer, and I feel it is his duty- I sure didnt get knocked up by myself.
If the father in this situation is paying child support, and you want him to continue, then you cannot terminate his parental rights- but what you CAN do is legally change the childrens last name- you do not need the permission of the biological father to do that. I assume the children already call your husband "dad"- so if you change the childrens last name to match your married name, who would know that they arent your husbands children? A good reason to change the childrens name is to make school registration easier, the court accepts that as enough cause.
Ok, then, if you successfully terminate bio's rights, then you need to apply for adoption.
In the end, it just seems easier to change their name I think.

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M.F.

answers from Atlanta on

C. I would call an attorney 2 or 3 and pick their brains about how the court here in Ga handles this process. I think that if the biological father has never paid child support and has never been around it maybe easier then you think. I know in many situation if you can't locate a person the court will print a notice in the locate newspaper (if you ever noticed them for like name changes and divorce) and if there's no response the court will proceed with the finalization of the request and grant it. Sometimes you can call the court in your area and they will even tell you the process since the process many times is in the court rules it has to be filed and handled in a certain way. My best wishes to you.

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W.W.

answers from Atlanta on

My current husband just adopted one of my sons from a previous relationship. Call an adoption attorney. You will get a free consultation. My advise DO NOT sign any contracts or agreements until you have gone to a couple different attorneys. It's relatively easy especially if there has been no contact from the biological father. Adoption and name change are two different things. Name change will be on average around $500 where adoption jumps to an average of around $1600. This adoption will make your current husband 100% responsible (not as if he hasn't already been) and everything about your sons old name will be erased. It is easy. We just went in the judges chambers he asked me and my husband a couple questions and my son (he was 14) and the adoption was complete. We had to run an adoption ad in the paper for about 6 weeks, they scheduled this court date.

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B.H.

answers from Atlanta on

My daughter had this problem and she just went to a local attorney who did the paper work. They will try to contact the Dad and get him to sign the papers, you will then go before a judge and he will sign the papers. The kids will receive new birth certificates with the name of their new Dad. Hope all goes well.

B. H.

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S.T.

answers from Atlanta on

I totally agree about contacting an attorney for free advice. Get the low-down on the GA laws before making a decision.

My stepdad adoped my brother many years ago. Mom and Dad went through an attorney although they knew where the bio father was (never had a presence in my brother's life). An attorney will make sure you don't miss any steps in the process as well as advise on what to do if the father shows back up wanting to exert parental rights (happened to the same brother who has recently adopted 3 children).

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P.W.

answers from Atlanta on

When a biological father fails to exercise his rights to a child the step parent can file to adopt and terminate rights as a part of the adoption petition. Find an attorney in your county who handles step parent adoptions. It is an easy process of filing, serving, investigation, hearing and order. Costs vary. shop around. Ask how many of these they do each year to be sure your find someone who uses the correct forms. Inexperienced attorneys may make mistakes.

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V.E.

answers from Atlanta on

Contact the bilogical father and ask if he is willing to sign the papers to allow your now husband to legally adopt the children. If so, contact an attorney that specializes in family law and he can draw up the papers, have signed by their biological father and you and your husband will most likely go before a judge and the adoption be granted. If he is not willing to sign it will be a bit more complicated and it depends on the state you are in what will be required. You would have to use the same kind of attorney and the children would have to be declared "abandoned" by thier biological father and then your husband could adopt. It will just be a longer process and cost more money.

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H.B.

answers from Atlanta on

I had the same problem also,dead beat dad piad his child support sometimes and never around.I got married and my husband also wanted to adopt my child to.First talk to a Lawyer,then you are going to have to talk to the biological dad and it is really going to be up to him.It sounds crazy for some one who has not been there have that much control.Now if he has not paid child support and is far behide that he can't get himself out of,it is that large of amount.Then you can tell him(ex)I will take you back to court for back child support or sigh over rights and not think about it again.If the court thing happens and he is made to pay back owed child support then there is a good chance the judge will allow him to have visits with the kids.And he will start over agian and then drop back out of there lives.And the kids does not need to be hurt from that.They know who there father is but they know who there daddy is the one that is there for them.Sometimes it is good not to stair the pot and let old dogs come back into a great home you have now.My case I did it all no bite and now he has the right to see my chld.But he does not but only every few years because he now lives out of state but they do have phone calls.He is remarried and he has grown up somewhat.And if he was not married to a great person she would not be seeing him or talking to him.his wife now talks more to her then he does.So please think really hard about this are you both ok and no stress or are you ready to have stress in your life.It could go any way he could say yes right off the bat or say no which he could to be a jerk.If you do not know where he is then there is things you have to do diffrent seek a lawyer also for that,I think you have to try to fine him If you can't fine him then you have to take out a add in the paper for so many days to see if he comes up if he does not come up I think then he would be able to abopt with no problems.Please be careful,God bless!

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L.R.

answers from Atlanta on

e.g, look up a website like adoption. com and select your state to see it you have to get the putative father's consent(criteria & procedures), and start there. Each State and County is different-adoption clerks can be helpful in some Superior Courthouses. Good luck.

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L.C.

answers from Charleston on

C.,
You need to talk to a lawyer (I'm sure you know) you might be able to do the adoption simply because their dad has not been around and get the adoption done on adbandament. I have a 25yr old and my husband adopted her due to her bio. father was not around and didn't pay child support (I didn't ask for it either). He couldn't fight it due to the fact that he was never around and only saw her maybe three times in a year and a half. Most family lawyers give free one time advice meetings. Good luck!
L. C

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C.S.

answers from Atlanta on

I think it depends on your state. Can you contact an adoption lawyer? My husband was adopted by his father as a small child (of course, this was back in the late 60's) and I know they had to have his birth father relinquish his parental rights in order to do that. But they were in New York state at the time and I think the father was in Alaska at the time so I don't know what applies there. Sorry I can't be of more help. Do you think you might be able to research the adoption laws in your state on your own?

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C.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Try and fine the kids father and let him know what you will like to do, and then seek legal advised. C.

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T.B.

answers from Savannah on

thats all you need to do is have there dad sign over the rights and then he needs to sign papers and swear in that he will take care of them as they are his own im in the prosses of doing this myself

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L.O.

answers from Charleston on

The man I am now married to wanted to adopt my son (now 13 at the time 5). I did not have any relationship with my son's biological father but I did know he is a spiteful person and may try to come back into our lives if he knew we wanted to terminate his parental rights. If you get an attorney involved it will cost a lot of money. We opted to get a legal name change for my son. This way he has a sense of identity and belonging and it did not take nearly as long as a formal adoption process. We did it ourselves without a lawyer but it still took about 4 months to complete. Look up the laws and requirements specific for your state before you make a decision. Still if you have the money and want to take the easy way, get a lawyer.

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S.C.

answers from Charleston on

Are you in the Charleston, SC area? I have a great lawyer who can help. His name is Glenn Lister and he specializes in adoptions. He helped us with our son's adoption. He is fantastic! His number is ###-###-####. Good Luck!!!

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A.B.

answers from Spartanburg on

You need a lawyer to do this, and a good one. I know of 2 very good women who specialize in this and highly recommend them. They work for the same law firm, they are Ruth Cate and Joanne Burkett. Good luck, they will take care of everything.

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D.M.

answers from Atlanta on

I was in the same situation many yrs ago. The biological father has to sign a paper stating he will give up custody. My husband and I went through a paralegal in CA. Less expensive, they give you the papers, you do the leg work, then it goes to court for review. It turned out great. Good luck. Get in touch with a paralegal in your area and they can guide you.

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