My stepson's father has been in and out of jail for the last year and only sees him his son sporadically, my wife has full custody and I have been around since he was one year old. He is three now. Do I have to get his"father" to give up his rights before I can adopt?
If the biological father is willing to voluntarily "give up his rights", then you could just have the bio dad consent to the adoption -- rather than adding in an unnecessary intermediary step. If the bio dad is not willing to consent to the adoption, then things gets a lot more complicated.
I would recommend that you contact an attorney in your local area that regularly practices adoption law in Virginia and schedule an initial consultation with them.
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.
Adoption by consent is a much easier process than a contested adoption. So, you should determine before you start the process whether the bio dad is going to cooperate or oppose the process.
His cooperation or lack thereof will also affect the forms and process you use in court.
As far as legal status, the bio dad relinquishes his rights and you obtain those rights through adoption in the same legal transaction. There is not a separate stage where bio dad relinquishes his rights, then a delay period, and then the event of the adoption.
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