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Step Parent Adoption Questions - Quite a Few!

New York, NY |

little background- I had my daughter no father on b.certificate or dna proof father knows of her but has never assumed responsibility for her was going to sign consent for s.parent adoption for my husband to adopt her (who has been in her life since she was a year old) but then was mislead and told i could still take him for child support and now wants to be a part of her life only because he thinks he has to pay child support. i dont want him budding in her life for the wrong reasons if he was taken to court for the adoption- what are my chances of the court not involving him? and if he is involved what are my chances of winning? he has cases of refusing arrest and dui's against him. but uses "money" as a power

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Attorney answers 3


If the father establishes his paternity of the child, you will not be able to have him adopted without the father's consent.

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Would I have to involve him? Since he is not on the birth certificate?


I'd respectfully disagree with the sentiment that you'd be unable to have your Husband adopt without the father's consent. It is quite possible that the father has legally abandoned the child, in which case the Court can dispense with the need for his consent. Since more facts would be needed to assess this, you're best advised to schedule a consultation with a NYC Family Law attorney.

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You do need his consent to adopt if he could turn around and seek an order of filiation and some custody/visitation, but your story is a little mixed up there (if I understand it) that if you or he DID do this, then he WOULD have to pay child support.

Since he probably wants little to do with the child and doesn't want to pay child support, it is probably in his best interest to consent to a termination of parental rights and allowing your new husband to adopt. This is about the only situation, BTW, where he could terminate parental rights and NOT be potentially responsible for child support.

Unless this guy is suddenly demonstrating an interest in the child or is looking to pay child support, which most biological fathers in this position avoid like the third rail, since it will suck up much of his after tax income, he will consent to the adoption.

If he doesn't consent, you can possibly still succeed over his objection on a contested petition to terminate parental rights allowing your husband to adopt. But as I said, most biological parents in this position and with this little previous demonstrated interest in the child are only too happy to sign papers as fast as they can to avoid a possible child support obligation.

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he pretty much told me that if i was to take him to court for the adoption he would file for visitations - only because hes under the impression that he is going to have to pay childsupprt and he knows i dont want her around him so hes using it to manipulate me- im just scared that would be the outcome that he would take me for visitation because he is unaware of how step parent adoptions work so basically I want to know my chances of getting his rights terminated if he contested it.

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz


Again, if he is under the impression he is going to have to pay child support, THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND ADOPTION ABOLISHES ANY OBLIGATION FOR HIM TO PAY SUPPORT!!! I'm putting that in caps because I'm not sure I've communicated that to you yet and he has to understand it. ONLY if he is interested in having a parental relationship with the child AND THEN having to pay child support is there an issue. If he wants to walk away without the support obligation, he SHOULD consent to the termination of rights/adoption. Am I making this choice clear? It's important that you and he understand it clearly. And if he's abandoned the child and still wants to contest termination of rights (AND pay support going forward), he MIGHT defeat your adoption application, IF he has not committed any acts of child abuse or neglect or has some other issues on his record (violent crimes, domestic violence, is incarcerated, etc.). The law DOES favor the natural parent having rights if he wants to exercise them and not terminating rights, even in an adoption situation, but then child support does kick in and he will face losing his driver's license, other work licenses and even being incarcerated if he willfully disobeys the support order.



I really appreciate all the help! I hope he gets a good lawyer that explains all this to him when we go to court- he does have violent crimes ; domestic crimes and two dui's against him. so i feel strongly about this! I cant thank you enough!

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