The father of my daughter havent seen her for 2 years and never shows up for court.
You cannot complete a step-parent adoption without being married, but you can complete a second-parent adoption without being married.
Unfortunately, the second-parent adoption process is more expensive because it requires a full home study ($4500), and advisement/witnessing by an Adoption Service Provider (approximately $1000).
Married couples can complete a step-parent adoption. The investigation for that is only $700 max (less on some counties), and there is no need to hire an adoption service provider.
In either case, it typically costs about $1500 for an attorney to assist with the court filings and finalization. Also, if the child's father doesn't sign a Waiver of Right to Notice or a Step-parent Adoption Consent, his rights must be involuntarily terminated in court. You can expect that to cost another $1500-$2000 assuming he does not show up to contest the matter. If he does contest, then the legal costs are unpredictable since the matter may have to go to a full court trial on the issue of abandonment.
Before committing to this process, you should consult with an experienced adoption attorney to evaluate your likelihood of success with an involuntary termination. Abandonment with the custodial parent requires one year of no contact or no support; your attorney needs to evaluate the specifics of your case to see if those facts are present and can be proven in court if needed. Good luck!
The advice given in this answer should be reviewed with legal counsel of your own choosing, to ensure that the specific and unique facts of your case are taken into account when evaluating the potential courses of action that are available to you and appropriate to attain your desired result. Therefore, do not rely on this response as a definitive answer to your question, but rather as a resource when considering your options.
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