My husband wants to adopt my daughter from a previous marriage. Her bio father has had very limited Contact with her, barely pays child support and has not been a father my husband has for the past 8 years. Can we do this on our own? I'm sure he would consent if he gets out of paying child support. But do not have the money to pay a lawyer.
If the biological father consents to having his rights terminated then you may be able to navigate the court system without a lawyer. If you have a friendly family court who can help you with the Petition and help you understand what you need to do, this may be something you can do. If he doesn't consent, then you will most definitely need a lawyer as you have to prove that the father is unfit and this will require a trial.
There are some things that can be done without an attorney. For example, uncontested divorces without children, no real property, and very little personal property can sometimes be done with an attorney with the help of forms provided by the Tennessee Supreme Court. Sometimes claims for damages that are hundreds (as opposed to thousands) of dollars may be done in General Sessions Court without the assistance of counsel as it is not cost effective to hire an attorney to go after a few hundred dollars worth of damages.
However, I would never advise someone to attempt to handle an adoption on their own. Adoptions are simply too complicated. Handling one on your own is akin to attempting surgery on yourself in my opinion. It may cost a little a money, but I would highly recommend that you hire an attorney to assist you in this process. Best of Luck!
Mr. Houston gave you the best free advice you are ever going to get. Get a lawyer even if you have to wait until you can save the money needed. From your fact situation it does not appear that there is any reason to be in a hurry.
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