Can my fiance sign my daughters birth certificate and give her his last name if there is no biological father?

Asked about 2 years ago - Seabrook, TX

I am fixing to get married and my fiance is the only man my almost 3yr old daughter has ever known as daddy. After getting married he wants to sign her birth certificate and give her his last name. What do I need to do in order for this to happen. Her biological father has known about her but hasn't tried to contact her or anything since she has been born. Also he was an abuser so I am not upset that he is not around my daughter and am gladly wanting my fiance to adopt her. The biological father was thrown in jail for beating me and i am not sure if that plays any role in my fiance having all fatherly rights to her as he is the one supporting her and caring for her and being a daddy to her! Since there is no father on her birth certificate and she has my last name how do I go about this?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. M Elizabeth Foley

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your daughter's biological father really isn't interested in her at all, the easy way to handle it would be to ask him to sign a document which would state that he is voluntarily relinquishing his parental rights. At that point, you could file petitions to terminate his parental rights (the relinquishment does not do it automatically, it must be approved by the court), and allow your husband to adopt. I'd wait to do this until you're actually married and have been long enough to show at least a little stability in the marriage. Stepparent adoptions are usually somewhat easier to deal with, but the court does like to feel comfortable that the marriage is likely to last, the parent-child relationship is a strong one, and that they won't be dealing with Father #2 trying to bail out a year from now. And yes, evidence that the biological father abused you will probably be helpful in this, since courts have a statutory mandate to do whatever they can to avoid exposing kids to domestic violence, so as long as you can show that your husband is a much better, safer, more stable parent by comparison, your chances should be good. Good luck.

  2. Eric B. Dick


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, you want to do a termination and adoption.

    I offer free consultations and am quite familiar with family judges in Harris County and nearby counties.


    Mr. Dick is licensed to practice law in Texas and office located in Harris County. His phone number is 832-207-2007 or 713-510-4500 or his email address is listed below.

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    By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.

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    I offer free consultations and am quite familiar with family judges in Harris County and nearby counties. LEGAL... more
  3. Gilbert Timbrell Adams III

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . The short answer is "No." You should engage the services of an attorney in the county where your daughter lives to accomplish a termination and adoption. Good luck.

    Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. An attorney-client relationship is not formed until the client... more

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