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What steps are required for my spouse to adopt my daughter whose biological father past away .

Houston, TX |

I have 4 children total, 3 are from the same father and the oldest isn't. She has been raised by him and he wishes to give her his last name. She feels like she is not part of the family because she does not have matching last names as her siblings. She has made the request on this and I do not know where to start or if We will be able to fulfil this for her. SHe knows her father is gone and the details and understands her dad is actually her stepfather and still wants to have the last name... I need advice

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

I have not done an adoption where the parent is deceased. I imagine it is the same two step of a termination of the biological parent's rights and the step parent adoption. I would wonder about the affect on her biological father's family and her relationship with them. Another much less expensive option is to change her name. Either way, hire a Family Law Attorney.

This does not establish an attorney/client relationship. Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant County, Texas practice area. Principal office located in Lake Dallas, Texas.

Asker

Posted

I have gave that much thought about his family... The topic was brought up when we first got together, I refused the idea due to not wanting to upset her other side of the family, and I did not want to make that decision for her at the moment....She has asked why she cant have the last name. What is the process to the name change?

Asker

Posted

I have explained to her that she is part of the family and that her last name does not mean she is not part of the family, but she has repeatedly asked about it , she wants to have his last name

Dorothea Elaine Laster

Dorothea Elaine Laster

Posted

It is just a Petition to Change Name. There is no one to notice since the father is deceased. You set a "prove up" hearing date. Then you and your daughter appear in court and say this is what you want and you get your order signed by the Judge. In your case it could be done very quickly--probably within a couple weeks. Because it is a lawsuit, the Court will charge a full filing fee of approximately $300. I didn't know whether she had a relationship with the other family. I just thought to lose your son and then your grandchild would hurt like hell.

Asker

Posted

I feel as if he has earned his rights as her father since he has raised her, and he was accepted by her biological fathers family. The topic has not been discussed with them thou. I receive no financial help from them. My spouse and I have raised her alone...Should I even worry about their input in this matter? Her grandmother has helped with school clothes here and there but not on a regular basis through these past 7 years. I do want things to go smooth and not hurt anyone but my main concern is my daughter and my family....

Dorothea Elaine Laster

Dorothea Elaine Laster

Posted

Your call.

Michael Ross Miller

Michael Ross Miller

Posted

The name change is the simpler and cheaper choice, but adoption when the other parent is deceased is easy. There is no need for a termination, just file a petition for a step parent adoption through your friendly local family law attorney.

Posted

My suggestion is to hire a family law attorney in your area who has experience in the field of adoption who can assist you with the proper steps. n

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

Posted

The options are a legal name change or a step parent adoption. Consult an attorney to determine which is right for you. The name change us less expensive but it may not accomplish all your goals such as creating intestate inheritance rights.

This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.

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