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Can I get full custody of my son's even if their father doesn't want to give up his rights?

Chicago, IL |

We've been separated for 7 years, he hasn't been in their life nor has he sent any money or tried to make any effort to see or atleast tried to speak to them, we never married, I live in Chicago & he lives in California, he has signed both birth certificates, I tried to put him in child support in California but it was just a waste of time so I took him off but he still owes California for assistance that I received,

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Attorney answers 4


there is no such thing as full custody. there is sole or joint. you have sole if you and dad were not married.

he cannot give up his rights unless there is someone else willing to adopt the son now.

you should pursue back child support from him and future child support unless you are going to do the adoption. then you should only go after back support.



Thank you for letting me know the correct term to use and your answer has been very helpful as a matter of fact my fiance wants to adopt my son's but do we have to be married first in order for the adoption process to go through?

Sara R. Howard

Sara R. Howard


While it is not a legal requirement that you and your fiancé be married in order for him to join you in a Petition for Adoption, it is more acceptable for a married couple to adopt.


No such thing as full custody. Just sole or joint. You have sole custody most likely.

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It appears from the limited information that you have provided that you have sole custody of your son. The father's parental rights can be terminated by your either marrying and having your spouse adopt your son or for your fiancé to join you in a Petition for Adoption. It is preferable that the two of you are married, but it is not a legal requirement. If you choose to pursue adoption, the biological father's parental rights can be terminated either by his signing a consent to the adoption, or by the court terminating his parental rights based on a finding of unfitness. The father would have to be notified and could contest the adoption, but based on his behavior and lack of support or contact, there should not be any significant difficulty in having his rights terminated and having your spouse/fiancé adopt your son. If adoption is an option for you, do consult with an attorney who is well versed in adoption law so that all will go smoothly.

Sara Howard is an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1983. Her practice concentrates in adoption and family law matters. Any response to a question on AVVO does not constitute an attorney client relationship, but is general information based on the limited information provided .. For a free initial consultation, or to enter into an attorney-client relationship, contact this attorney. Sara Howard 773/ 509-1818


You should hire a lawyer. Ask for sole custody, child support, medical insurance coverage for the children, contribution to uncovered medical costs, extracurricular costs, etc. Don't let him fail to support his kids.

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