I have custody and legal guardianship of my niece. I have had her since 8/30 of last year. She has had no contact since 9/3 and has not provided any financial support at all. She has told us she is coming to get the baby a couple of times. She has been involved in several robberies including one which ended in homicide. She has turned evidence on those involved and escaped charges on these. She is using meth and weed routinely. We plan to file abandonment as soon as possible ( when no contact or support 12 out of 14 months).
There only way that 12 our of 14 months helps you is in connection with an adoption, to obtain an order determining that as a matter of law, her consent is NOT required for an adoption to proceed. There is no other termination of parental rights. If you already have a guardianship, that would be helpful in leading to an adoption if married and interested in doing a step-parent adoption.
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As you referenced, you will need to be able to show non-payment and/or no substantial relationship for 12 consecutive months out of the 14 months prior to your filing of a petition for adoption. At that time, you can move for an adoption without consent of the birth parents. I suggest you talk to an attorney soon since it sounds like you are getting close to that time. I see that you are the aunt of the child. You will need a home study, but you do not have to be married. If you are adopting along with a spouse, you will need to have been married for one year before the adoption is final.
Any information I provide is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Our exchange of information via this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any information I provide is for informational purposes only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
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