Yes, you can petition to have the child's name changed. However, you must still notify the bio dad, typically accomplished through publication. The process is not difficult, and forms should be available through your self-help center. The adoption process takes very little time. I believe you are referring to the termination of parental rights process, which must be done before an adoption can occur. Even that should not take more than 3-4 months (considering publication time) but trying to do it without an attorney can be very difficult. If your true goal is to get this child adopted by his step-father, sit down with an attorney in your geographic area to learn how to do it right, and fairly quickly. There are many attorneys who do these at very reasonable prices, and even flat fees for terminations/adoptions expected to be uncontested.
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You can change the child's last name but must notify or attempt to notify the biological father. Best of luck to you.
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Adoption is not a very long process. Even the name change takes time due to the required publication. Mrs. Whitbeck is correct, if adoption is your goal, you should start down that road.
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