My daughter's father wants to terminate his parental rights, and I support this. We were never married and she has always lived with me. Do we need a lawyer, or are there forms we can fill out and sign? My husband would like to adopt my daughter, which her father also agrees to, but we don't have the money and don't qualify for legal aid. We'd like to at least get the tpr started, even if we can't yet do the adoption. How do we start this?
As an addendum, though we were never married, his name is listed on my daughter's birth certificate and he did sign a document at the hospital at her birth stating that he is her father. Also, there is a child support order, on which he is currently over $13,000 in arrears. Neither he nor I have any illusions that he will ever be able to pay it off, and I am not trying to cut him out of our daughter's life; for many reasons, it would be best if I alone had rights, or better yet if my husband could adopt her. The lowest cost for adoption we've been quoted is $3000.
Family Law Attorney
Courts generally do not accept a voluntary termination of parental rights as that would include a termination of parental responsibilities. That is unless there is someone else ready to stand in. Your best bet is to find an adoption attorney who will work with you, and have the biological father surrender his rights and consent to the adoption in one proceeding.
I wish you the best of luck,
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Courts will not permit the bio-dad to get out of child support this way.
Secondly, if the plan later is a step-parent adoption, you will destroy that plan with papers now. Consents for adoption must be in exactly proper form and TIMELY.
When you are ready for the adoption and can afford it, rights can be surrendered during the adoption and your adoptoin lawyer can draft the documents then.