My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Colorado
Please excuse me if I leave any important things out. This is a long story but I am gonna try to give as much info as I can........
(J) was born in May of 2001
My husband and I have been married 10yrs (together for 11yrs). The same month that we started dating we found out that a woman that he had a one night stand with had given birth to a little girl. When she (J) was 4 months old my husband was sent a order for paternity and subsequently found to be dad. Child support was ordered and we paid on time every month. There wasn't a parenting plan put in place.
Jump to Dec of 2002:
The bio mom was having financial trouble and with ALOT of thought we decided to move the mom and J into our home. We found out shortly after that because there wasn't a marriage or parenting plan set in place that my husband had 50% custody. We kicked the mom out Jan 2003 and J stayed with us. She didn't fight us and didn't ask to take J.
Jump to now
We now have 3 kids and J is almost 12 and hasn't seen/spoke to bio mom or anyone else in that family. She obviously lives full time with us and has a younger sister and brother. She only knows my husband's family and mine. She knows of her bio mom but wouldn't be able to pick her out of a crowd. She has been asking lately why we never had her name changed (given her mothers last name) and why I never adopted her. I tell her it's because we never really considered it an issue since she has always been my oldest daughter. When I said that to her I seen the hurt in her eyes and had a revelation that it was actually because I was afraid that bio mom would show up and a judge would give J to her and I honestly don't think I can bear that. We have no idea where bio is or if she even wants anything to do with J.
So my question is: Can we file abandonment and stepparent adoption without full custody? If not then what do we do?
I have Parental Responsibility, Step Parent Adoption, and name change forms. I have filled all of them out just not sure what to do. I don't have the money for an attorney and am trying to diy all of it.