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What do I need to do to have my son`s dad sign his rights away?

Graham, WA |

I was wondering what step`s do i need to take to have my 13 year old son`s dad sign his rights away. His father told me many years ago he would sign his rights away so that my husband could adopt him I am considering doing this. As he has made no try to see or be involved in 10 years now. What would i need to do to make this happen?

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Attorney answers 3


With the cooperation of the bio-father, the termination of his parental rights in connection with the stepparent adoption is quite easy. And by "cooperation" I mean he is served with the termination petition and summons, and then simply fails to respond so a default can be entered. While this precedure is well-known and basic for any experienced family practitioner, it may not be approachable as a DIY project.

Best wishes for favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


There has to be a petition for adoption in order for him to voluntarily terminate his rights, so you need to work with an adoption attorney and do everything together. There are no standard forms for adoptions in Washington state, and it's something you want to make sure you do right, so it is really worth consulting with a professional.



What if we didnt have my husband adopt him. Can his bio dad still sign his rights over?

Kate M Forrest

Kate M Forrest


No. The state won't allow a parent to relinquish his responsibility unless someone else is willing to take on that role. When both parents are alive and known, a child is entitled to support from both, so the state won't let one of them simply walk away.


In Georgia, relinquishment of parental rights is known as a "surrender of parental rights." The Code specifically details various situations in which voluntary surrender of rights is required as well as other situations where a court will surrender parental rights absent a petition by the natural parent. A parent wishing to surrender rights may do so either by submitting a voluntary, written consent to a child placement agency or petitioning the court to surrender his rights.
I hope this helps you. Good Luck.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Brown Sinclair


I notice, Mr. Lewis, that this Asker is posting from Washington state.

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