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Can my husband adopt my daughter if paternity has never been established?

Cincinnati, OH |

My husband and I have been together since my daughter was 6 months old, she's now 3. We'll be married for a yr in a few weeks. My daughter has never seen her biological father and he refuses to take a DNA to establish paternity. Child Support has set up the testing and he never shows up and it can't be court ordered supposedly because they can't find him. Is there anyway my husband can adopt her? Also, if possible, does his PAST criminal record have any weight in a courts decision to let him adopt her?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    YOur husband is the putative father and he may petition the court to adopt her. It would be up to the biological father to challenge the adoption. If he is not listed in Ohio's putative father registry and is not willing to establish paternity with a DNA test, then he will be unable to challenge the petition in court. If he does take the DNA test and does present a challenge, things become more complicated but it is still possible that a court would terminate his parental rights.

    You can reach Martin D. Koop at (419) 447-2521 or martinkoop@martinkoop.com. Martin Koop is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Ohio. Answering your questions does not create an attorney-client relationship between anybody and Martin D. Koop. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts in your case, before you take any actions or make any choices that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have formally hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your legal matter.


  2. Yes. Until paternity is established he is a putative father, not her father. He'll have to be served. Here's the good news. He'll have to take a DNA test to have standing to object. If he does, then you can get him for child support.

    This answer is provided for general purposes only. If you need legal assistance you should consult with an attorney. If you wish to discuss the facts of your case with me, please feel free to contact my office via the information below. Please note that neither my response to your question nor your contacting of my office creates an attorney-client relationship. Christopher Tamms Tamms Law Office, LLC 6457 Reflections Drive; Dublin, Ohio 43017 Phone- 614-859-9529 chris.tamms@gmail.com