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How would I go about getting my sons biological father's parental rights terminated?

Spokane, WA |

He has not had any contact or offered any support financial or otherwise since 2008. I do not wish to do a parenting plan or receive child support in any way. I am married now and my husband is the only "father" my son knows. We want to legally change his name to match ours and since the last time I spoke with the biological father (08) he was adamantly against it I let it go. It's been several years and we have since had another son and I would really like my family to be whole. At this point I feel like he has no grounds to even fight me for custody but I am no lawyer... how do I solve this?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The rights of the biological father are normally not terminated except in a CPS case, or an adoption proceeding. There is a fairly streamlined procedure for adoption by a step-parent (your husband). It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on adoption for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Please keep in mind that although these Legal Guides are often informative, they are no substitute for legal advice from an attorney you have retained for consultation or representation. There are always exceptions to the general rules. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "Contributor Level - View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Contribution - Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful” or “best answer”. © Bruce Clement

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  2. If you want your current husband to adopt the child, the Father would have to agree or default after being served with a Petition for adoption. HIs rights as a Father are fundamental rights protected by the US. constitution and cannot be terminated unless the State takes action in a dependency proceeding.

    Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements

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