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Can my fiance adopt my daughter with out the involvement of her biological father?

Winder, GA |
Filed under: Child adoption

She is almost 2 years old and her biological father has never made any attempt to be in her life tho I have tried to involve him. He is also not on her birth certificate and we were never married.

Attorney Answers 5


First of all, if your fiance adopts, you lose your child.

Once you are married, he can seek a step parent adoption. The bio-father must either consent or be served, and if it is the latter, a court must also terminate his rights.

Once you marry, retain a lawyer and best of luck!

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First you have to determine where the biological father stands with respect to his rights under Georgia adoption law. He may be a biological father or a legal father. There are different criteria depending on his legal status. Legal fathers are ones who were married to the birthmother or acknowledged paternity (got their names on the birth certificate). It sounds like in your case he is a biological father, but you will need to make sure he never legimated your child.

Even if he is simply a biological father, he still must be served with notice. If 30 days go by after he is served and he does nothing, then the court can terminate his rights without his written consent.

If you have a legal father and he has not communicated, supported and seen the child in over a year, then the court can terminate his rights on grounds of abandonment.

The most important thing you can give your child is her complete medical history. Above all else try to get a complete history from the father - we never know what the future brings.

Finally, Georgia adoption law allows for step-parent adoptions. The requirements for these adoptions are less strict than for independent adoptions. You would need to be married to your finance, however, in order for him to do a step-parent adoption. So that is something else that you will need to consider and speak to an attorney about before moving forward.

If you would like to discuss the process in detail, I would be happy to talk with you. I regularly give guidance on this type of case, and my office offers free 15 minute consultations to potential clients. You can find a list of other experienced Georgia adoption attorneys through

Good luck!

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I am licensed to practice solely in Georgia, and do not intend to give legal advice or create a lawyer/client relationship. Please consult an attorney in your state for detailed advice on your legal question.

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In Georgia, a couple must be married to do a stepparent adoption. How quickly you can accomplish this adoption after you get married will depend on the county you live in (judges in some counties will not consider stepparent adoptions until the couple has been married at least a year), whether the birth father will consent or termination is required, and a variety of other factors.

I recommend talking with an attorney experienced in stepparent adoption to discuss the options and possible timeline in your particular circumstances. You can find a list of experienced adoption attorneys on the website for the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers.

Good luck!

The information contained in this response is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Neither Neal & Wright LLC nor its attorneys have created an attorney-client relationship with you by responding to your question. The attorneys of Neal & Wright LLC ethically cannot agree to represent you until confirming that there are no conflicts of interest and obtaining information about the specific facts of your case.

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The answer to your question is "no", for two different reasons. First, the only way that your fiance to adopt your daughter would be for both your rights and the father's rights to be terminated first. If you wish to maintain rights over your daughter, you would have to first get married then allow your HUSBAND to adopt your daughter.

Secondly, because adoption involves the permanent termination of a parent's rights, each parent must be given an opportunity to either consent or object to the adoption. Thus, if your husband attempts a step-parent adoption, he would have to either obtain the biological father's written consent or serve him with a copy of the petition and give him an opportunity to object. If the father does not consent, your husband can then attempt to convince the court that terminating his rights would be in the child's best interests.

Once you two get married, your husband will need to hire an attorney to represent him in his pursuit of adoption.

I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

~ Kem Eyo

The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.

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The biological father must be notified of your request to the court to terminate his rights. That is necessary in order for an adoption to take place. You must marry your fiance in order to have him adopt the child. In Barrow County, our judges do not require that you be married any specific period of time to approve a step parent adoption. The only requirements are the ones required strictly by law which are mentioned above. I do free 30 minute consultations and have done many adoptions in Barrow County. I would be happy to speak with you should you wish to go forward with your case.

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