My son is 4 years old. the biological father is on the birth certificate and is currently paying child support but is not consistent with payments. he has not seen our son in two years and has never asked to see him. He stopped seeing our son around the time his new girlfriend conceived. i have contacted him to ask for his signature for a passport to travel for a vacation and he said no without ever asking about our son. months later we asked for his cooperation to have my husband adopt and he says no. He is now going through a custody battle with the mother of his new child. he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and does not seem to be in a healthy mental state. my husband and i just purchased a new home and have placed our son in a nice pre school. our son refers to my husband as dad and is a very happy child. my husband would like to adopt him more than anything in the world. we are afraid of what would happen if he did demand to see our son.
is it possible to have the biological father's parental rights terminated under these circumstances?
First, this issue depends on the law in your state. In most states, you cannot have an adoption of minor children without the consent of the non-custodial parent unless there has been a court hearing and the judge terminates the parental rights of that parent. So, the simple answer is not simple. If the father says no, you usually have two options: One-end the adoption process or Two-go to court and get an order that allows the adoption anyway by terminating the other parent's rights.
You need a lawyer to handle this matter. It is tricky and the lawyer should know the best way to proceed for the benefit of the child.
The laws of adoption from state to state, but the guiding principle is the welfare and best interests of the child. If a biological parent does not consent to the adoption, termination of parental rights can occur through various findings of the Court, including: abandonment; willful failure to make reasonable and consistent payments for the support of the child; failure to engage in reasonable visitation with the child; failure to undertake parental responsibilities for the child; posing a risk of substantial harm to the physical or psychological welfare of the child, and others. Whether these factors can be established is specific to the facts of your case. It is recommended that you consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area of residence for legal advice on your particular circumstances and available remedies.
If the biological father is not willing to consent to the adoption, you must bring an action to terminate his parental rights. The first and easiest ground is abandonment. To wit, willful failure to pay child support OR visit for 4 months immediately before filing the termination. It sounds like you meet the grounds for both failure to pay and visit.
You should consult with an adoption attorney in Nashville to begin the process.
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