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  1. #1

    Default Step Parent Adoption and Involuntary Termination of Paternal Rights

    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.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    Quote Quoting ADOPTHELPINMA
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    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).


    He will need to be established as Dad before you can have his rights terminated.




    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).

    Without a court order he's never been under any obligation to support your daughter. At this point, he's not legally Dad.


    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?

    Speak with a local adoption attorney; this isn't a DIY project at the best of times and I believe there are some complicating factors here.

    With regards to the steroid use, the fact that you knew about it then and still had a child with him sort of tells the court that you were fine with it. I'm not saying that to be mean - but to give you a realistic impression of how it works. In all honesty it wouldn't matter anyway.


    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.

    Thank you.

    He will be involved at least on some level and if you need to resort to service via publication that means an attorney isn't just recommended, but absolutely necessary.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3

    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    Thank you. I've contacted an attorney, but we won't be meeting with her for a few weeks. I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row and calm my nerves a bit I guess. I won't bring up the steroid use. We never planned to have a child together/it wasn't a planned pregnancy, but I understand what you're saying here.
    Since he's never been established as her father/not legally her father and has never established a relationship with her, does he have the right to be notified then? Can we just put the notification in the local paper then?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    He will have to be notified one way or another; paternity needs to be established before an adoption can go ahead and for that he'll have to be notified.

    You're doing the right thing though - getting information and I'm glad you've made that appointment with an attorney; because of the circumstances I honestly couldn't recommend you going ahead without one.

    Good luck!
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    this is concerning my wifes parental rights in md
    my wife and i just got married in april and she is concidering on signing her parental rights over to me but i am the step father and she wants me to have all rights over the two step children i began fathering when we got married would she be able to do so? if so what would she have to do

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    There is no way you can "take" over your wife's parental rights like that - in order for you to become their legal parent, an adoption must take place.

    Where is Dad?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    the dad is around and trying to take custody from my wife he only lives up the street from us. she wants me to be able to make decisions for the children concerning the kids until we can go through the whole adoption thing what can we do about that

  8. #8
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    Exclamation Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    The children already have a father involved in their lives. Unless you left out something major - there is no way a court is going to give you rights over him. There is no WE in this situation.

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    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    Quote Quoting jjweinberger
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    the dad is around and trying to take custody from my wife he only lives up the street from us. she wants me to be able to make decisions for the children concerning the kids until we can go through the whole adoption thing what can we do about that


    Not happening.

    You have no rights to the children, and she really can't just "give" you parental rights like that.

    And if Dad fights the adoption - the adoption ain't happening.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Step Parent Adoption and Invol Term Paternal Rights

    i do know that he refuses to take his biological son for his visitation time with them and my wife also has a protective order against him for him pulling a knife on her and i when her and i first got together and has attempted to sexually abuse my wife multiple times while they were together and after they split thier ways and when we get my step daughter back from him it seems like she has been neglected and is usually always what seems to be starving and has for some reason become verry protective over a certain area and fights her mother when she goes to change her diapers

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