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How can I get parental rights taken away from a deadbeat dad?

Houston, TX |

I live in Texas and he lives in Missouri and his name is on the birth certificate unfortunately but he hasn't been in my son's life ,ever, and he is almost 4. My husband would like to adopt my son since he has been taking care of him since he was 3 months old but my ex will not willingly give up his rights. He doesn't pay child support nor does he have anything to do with my son. He hasn't seen him since he was a year old and he was recently released from jail after about a year of being there, not sure what he was there for though. I'm not sure where to start or what to do. I just want his rights so my husband can adopt my son. Any help is much appreciated!

Attorney Answers 3


In general, courts consider first and foremost what is in the best interest of the child. Usually, that implies that children need to interact with their parents. The biological father has a duty and responsibility to pay child support. If you went through the procedure to establish the biological father's child support debt and went forward with action to collect on his debt, maybe that would motivate him to agree to terminate his parental rights and consent to the adoption.

Best wishes.

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Start with hiring a lawyer. You will need to file two lawsuits, a termination and adoption suit. There are additional expenses of a social studay, an adlitem for the child, and fingerprints for your husband. Feel free to call my office and set a free consultation if you would like to discuss the matter further. Good luck.

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The Texas Family Code provides a long list of reasons for which a person's parental rights may be involuntarily terminated. You don't mention whether your child's father has ever been ordered by a court to pay child support, but regardless of whether he has or not, failure to provide support for a child is but one of the possible grounds which might apply in your case. While it is hard to understand why someone who has taken so little interest in his child would refuse to relinquish his rights, the decision would no longer be his if a court were to terminate his rights involuntarily. Assuming all of the appropriate steps had been taken to obtain the court's approval for the adoption, it would follow immediately after the natural father's rights had been terminated.

As my other colleagues here suggested, you would be best served by consulting with an attorney who handles adoption cases to discuss the particulars of your situation. Adoption is my favorite part of my practice, and having the opportunity to handle an adoption just makes my day. Good luck to you!

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