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Can my boyfriend adopt my son, but allow my son to keep his last name?

Lafayette, IN |

My son's father has never been around. He isn't on the birth certificate and we never went to court to establish him rights or paternity or anything. My boyfriend and I talked about it and agreed that he could adopt my son. My son is almost 6 and he likes his name but wants my boyfriend to be his dad. Is it possible for my son to keep his last name but my boyfriend adopt him?

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Attorney answers 3


Yes. But in order for your boyfriend to adopt him without stripping any of YOUR rights, you two would have to get married.

The foregoing is not intended to be specific legal advice, but rather general information. Because of the nature of this online, non-confidential forum, and because each and every family law case is different, it is impossible for any attorney to consider all of the facts of your specific case and provide a concrete answer. If you require specific legal advice, you should retain a qualified attorney in your area.


I agree with my colleague above. If you do marry and decide to proceed with a step parent adoption, I would not recommend you take this course of action without assistance of an attorney. There are several statutory requirements that must be met and forms properly filed. The court, upon application, will consider several factors including the length of time and relationship between your new spouse and your child, the involvement of the biological father in the child's life, and the best interests of your child.

Responses by Dawn M. Boyd, Attorney At Law, to inquiries on this site are based on the information provided and are for general information only. Any responses and information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor establish the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


Your marriage is a needed first step of many steps to make this happen. Start there. Then hire counsel and petition in court.