This has been a 4 yr long process, my son's biological mother has been one of a kind. her husband went to prison for 2 1/2 yrs. during which time she went 2 yrs w/o paying court ordered cs, only saw him once every 6 months, but drove 2 hrs almost every saturday to see her husband, she hardly called, and lied about her husband. she also went back to court for her daughter, who was also removed from her care with my son by dfcs. and went to court for custody of her stepdaughter while her husband was in jail, but never even tried to even get her visitation changed with us. now her husband is out of jail and forcing her to call and get him, but even so it is seldom, not even close to every other weekend. they tell him they are going to take us back to court. can i get rights to him?
Family Law Attorney
I think you posted twice and this post has more facts -- If you did not, I apologize. Can you get rights to the child (which is slightly different from can you adopt)? Well, first, you may already have some rights through DFCs. BUT, I am completely confused about your relationship with the child. If you do not have a blood relationship with the child OR are not CURRENTLY married to someone with a blood relationship with the child, you may have an uphill battle. This question that I have is an example of why I recommended that you actually hire or consult with an experienced Family Law attorney, ASAP. Good luck!
The information is for general information purposes only. Receipt of this information or e-mail from our website, or other communications should NOT be construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship.
3 lawyers agree
Family Law Attorney
To say you want custody of your stepson is to imply that you are married to his father. If this is correct, you may only obtain custody in one of two ways.
One option for obtaining custody of a child to whom you are not biologically related is to have the custodial parent found unfit (or the child found to be deprived in the care of the custodial parent). With such a finding, you can be granted temporary custody while the parent is placed on a plan for reunification.
The most appropriate manner for a step-parent to obtain "custody" is to adopt the child. Step-parent adoption requires that the parent (your spouse) consent to you adopting the child, and the other parent's rights be terminated. The termination can be voluntary (in your case, the mother can consent), or can be court ordered due to her failure to provide for, and bond with, the child.
You will absolutely need to meet with an attorney to determine how, if at all, you can gain custody. As Mr. Rockefeller stated, there is information missing that makes it difficult to advise you on what your options truly are. Even if that information were revealed, you would likely need an attorney to represent you. (You DEFINITELY need representation if you decide to seek adoption.) Since many attorneys offer free initial consultations, I would suggest that you contact a few now.
Good luck to you and your family.
~ Kem Eyo
The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Ms. Eyo gave a good answer and I will simply add if there are any blood relations to the child who would fight you for custody,,,,,,,,,, you will probably loss in both courses of action suggested by Ms. Eyo . That said if you are the only true full time parent the child has ever known and the bond between you and said child is stong then go for it . Some fights need to be fought regardless of chances for success .