My question involves adoption law for the State of: MA
I'm trying to find out if I have grounds for involuntarily terminating my daughter's bio father's rights.
Background: My daughter is 4 (born 2/06) and was born in TX (out of wedlock). I was only involved with her father for a few months (he lied to me about his martial situation...said he was separated/getting divorced and that he helped care for his wife who had a brain tumor...he's still married to her I later found out). When I told him I was pregnant, he urged me to get an abortion. He was not present for the birth and never acknowledged paternity and is not on her birth certificate (even though he was given the chance to be). I moved back to MA in 4/06. During my pregnancy, I became involved with my current husband who was with me and supported me throughout (we married in 4/07 and have a child of our own now). He is the only father my daughter has evern known.
Her bio father has never paid child support (I don't want any from him, but just stating this as background), hasn't seen her since she was 5 months old nor has he ever asked to see her, and I haven't spoken to/heard from him since 10/08 (a brief email asking how "we" were doing...that was it) and prior to that, I hadn't heard from him since 10/07 (one time contact again). So, he hasn't had any contact with me in 1.5 years and no visits with his daughter in just about 4 years (6/06).
I want to know if there are grounds here to involuntarily terminate his rights so that we can proceed with a step parent adoption (my husband adopting my daughter whom has been her "Father" since birth basically). He never established a relationship, care, support, etc for his bio child. She has created a strong bond/relationship with my husband. Is this abandonment? Also, when I knew him, he took steroids...could/should I bring this up in court?
Also, I never knew his home address. I have his work address from 2 years ago. Could I claim to not know his whereabouts since it's been so long and just have to take out an ad in a local paper (if I don't have grounds for involuntary termination)? I would like to try not to involve him if at all possible as he never took responsibility or cared about my daughter. I'd hate to have him try to interfer if he hears of the adoption just to be a jerk (he'd do that). I'd hate to have my husband be denied the change to legally be her father (and all the priviledges that go along with that) because of her bio father being selfish and a jerk.