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Is there any way someone can "cheat" the system and adopt their step-child without obtaining consent from the biological parent?

Paramus, NJ |

I found out that my husband's step mother, who adopted him when he was 17, never got consent from his biological mother to give up her rights. She thought, to this day, she still had all the rights to her son. How is this possible? Doesn't the person need to be informed that her son is no longer hers? And the case is not that she didn't have contact with him for a certian amount of time. Is it possible for the step mother to have hidden information about attempted phone calls and cards sent to him that she ignored or threw away and did not tell him? What can happen to someone for doing something like this? Please say jail time or an extremely hefty fine.

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Attorney answers 2


Of course it is possible for somone to keep information from the court and in the process obtain improper results. If your allegations are correct the court could be petitioned by the natural parent to set aside the adoption, but since that happened many years ago, I doubt that that would be the result. As far as penalties go, perjury, or lying to the court is not allowed and can result in sanctions imposed by the court. The biological mother has standing to challenge what has happened, but may be barred by the statute of limitations. This may also have an impact on estates. I doubt that it will result in jail time.

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It is possible for someone to lie to the court about notifying a biological parent of the adoption. However, it does seem odd since your Husband would have been present during the adoption proceedings, and if he still had contact with his biological mother... In addition, his father would have had to cooperated as well since he would have to sign off on the applications. That being said, if your Husband and his biological mother wish to nullify the adoption, she can always adopt him back. Since he is an adult it would not require anyone elses consent to the adoption and it could be done fairly quickly.