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I want to terminate my daughter's father parental rights since he has been absent for over 2 years & she is only 3 years old

Pacoima, CA |

I just do not know where to start. I want my daughter to start school this fall. But I do not want her to go in with her last name. My daughter has not had any emotional contact with her father for over 2 years my husband wants to adopt her and provide her with his last name, since he is the only father figure that she has. But I don't know what is the first step that I should take. Where should I seek for help? What are my chances that this can happen? By that I mean what if the father objects what are his chances on taking my baby away?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. The standard is no contact and no support for two years. (What is "emotional contact"? ANY contact counts.)

    You cannot obtain a step parent adoption without his consent if bio dad has not abandoned the child.

    All of Ms. Straus’ responses to questions posted on Avvo are intended as helpful information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are not to be relied upon as a final legal opinion. It may not be what you wished to hear, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Straus is licensed to practice law in California. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state, and retain him or her. Me Straus provides “unbundled” services if you need specific assistance with a specific issue.


  3. I don't like this. I have two daughters. One didn't bond with me until 5 the other 2. Dad probably needs to do a lot of work to be a positive force in your daughter's life, and I hope that he does, but there is no burning urgency and the name issue is just superficial. Your daughter doesn't need to have her relationship with her biological father harmed to have a wonderful relationship with her stepfather. I'd start with love and counseling not the executioner.

  4. As noted is the 'self-help' link, you begin by filing an Adoption Request and provide a copy of the filed request to the Department of Child & Family Services who will provide you with a packet to complete. The termination of bio-dad's parental rights is part of the process if bio-dad refuses to consent to the adoption.

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