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Should I find my daughters biological father if I plan on having my boyfriend adopt her?

Monroe, NY |

My daughters biological father took off when I was only a few months pregnant and has no contact with me or her since then. I know that is considered abandonment and so my boyfriend now of 3+years would like to adopt her. I would really like for her biological father to not be able to ever in the future be able to change his mind and decide all of a sudden he wants a part of her life. Would it be better to get in touch with him and have him sign over his rights? Or will it be okay to leave it alone and just have her adopted by my boyfriend? If it makes a difference he is not on her birth certificate, I am listed as the only parent and she has my last name.

Attorney Answers 4


It would definitely make the process much easier if the bio-dad consented to the stepparent adoption. I would recommend you consult with a local and experienced adoption attorney to represent you.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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Part of the process for having your daughter adopted is a termination of the biological father's parental rights. There cannot be an adoption without the court first terminating the father's rights, and the court will require that the biological father be notified. The termination of rights will go smoothly if the father voluntarily agrees to the termination of his rights. If he does not agree, then you have the burden of proving why his rights should be terminated. Another issue you should consider - because the court will look at it closely - is why you are not married. If your boyfriend cannot commit to being a husband to you, why would the court think he would commit to being a father to your daughter?

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Consult with a local adoption lawyer to help you terminate parental rights and move on with the adoption process.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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There are "notice" fathers, "consent" fathers and fathers who are neither, a local attorney can tell you which applies in your case. In any event, every court has slightly different procedures, but if you want to be SURE that the adoption isn't challenged later and you want to be sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, it would be best to notify the father and present proof to the court that you did so. IF the father fails to respond to the notification, then you'll be fine. Even if he does respond, you may still try to prove abandonment, best interests, etc. and proceed with the adoption. The only reason to do nothing is IF the father is neither a notice father nor a consent father. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown's responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. 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.

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