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  1. #1
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    Oct 2012
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    Red Bank, Tennessee, United States
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    Default How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    My question involves adoption law for the State of: Tennessee

    My daughter is 3 years old and my fiance has been in her life for 2 yrs, she has no idea that's not her biological father. Her biological father is around enough for her to know that he's another dad in her life but that's it, he pays no child support, even tho he's ordered to by law, and he wont even keep her when he makes plans to do so, something always changes. The last time he kept her for the weekend he decided that Sunday isn't considered part of the weekend, but didn't tell me til Sunday morning, and he didn't even take care of her, the people he was staying with did. I know this because she told me what she did all weekend and he wasn't mentioned and the people there also told me about it. he has no visitation/custody rights and is just completely in the way. I just want to legally get him 100% out of her life and my fiance is ready to adopt her. I know were not married but all our money is going into her and our home so we have no money for the wedding and we don't want to get married until we can afford a wedding. I'm not looking for moral thought and answers i just want to know legally everything that has to be done for him to adopt her. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    27,080

    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    i just want to know legally everything that has to be done for him to adopt her.
    1. get married

    2. wait for approximately a year, or more

    3. seek to terminate the fathers parental rights for whatever you think you can. So far you have given reason why you wouldn't be able to terminate his rights. His involvement with the child, even though there are no court order visitation rights shows he does have an interest in his child.

    4. file the adoption paperwork

  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Red Bank, Tennessee, United States
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    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    well recently he hasnt been around. is there ever a point where it would show he has no more interest in the child?

  4. #4

    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    Quote Quoting Angelene Hargraves
    View Post
    My daughter is 3 years old and my fiance has been in her life for 2 yrs, she has no idea that's not her biological father.
    But be aware that adoption won't change biology - biology which could be vital for healthcare reasons later in her life. You owe it to her to make sure she knows the actual identity of her biological father as is age appropriate.


    Her biological father is around enough for her to know that he's another dad in her life but that's it, he pays no child support, even tho he's ordered to by law,
    What efforts at collection are being made on behalf of the child?


    and he wont even keep her when he makes plans to do so, something always changes. The last time he kept her for the weekend he decided that Sunday isn't considered part of the weekend, but didn't tell me til Sunday morning, and he didn't even take care of her, the people he was staying with did. I know this because she told me what she did all weekend and he wasn't mentioned and the people there also told me about it. he has no visitation/custody rights
    If he has no rights, there's no point in complaining that he's not exercising them (cause even if he DID have court ordered rights, he'd not be required to USE them), but this can be an important point that you can make to the court in a petition for termination: "Your Honor, not only is he not paying his child support, but he hasn't ever sought parental rights, ...AND even when I tried to keep him involved by allowing him visitation time with the child, he chose to pursue other activities and leave his child with the friends he was staying with."

    I just want to legally get him 100% out of her life and my fiance is ready to adopt her. I know were not married but all our money is going into her and our home so we have no money for the wedding and we don't want to get married until we can afford a wedding.
    No court is going to allow a fiance to adopt the child, and the courts are not going to terminate dad's rights unless there is another parent standing there ready to be legally responsible for her. If you want your fiance to adopt, you're going to have to show the court that THIS relationship is going to last longer than the relationship that created the child - the court wants to see signs of COMMITTMENT to the family, in the form of marriage, before it's going to consider taking away an existing parent's rights, no matter how long it's been since they visited or he paid child support. The courts simply aren't going to assign legal rights to a man who hasn't shown the responsibility to marry the mother. A marriage license costs under $100 in Tennessee, and can be waived down to $60 if you complete a pre-marriage prep course. You can throw the big ceremony later. but there will absolutely not be any adopting going on until you and fiance have been married at LEAST 6 months, if not a year. If money is such an object, then it's time to put more effort into collecting on that child support order.


    i just want to know legally everything that has to be done for him to adopt her.
    1) get married - nothing can happen until this is done

    2) stay married for at least 6 months

    3) keep all noses clean, employed, no problems, etc

    4) petition the court for adoption with concurrent termination of dad's parental rights (these will go together)

    5) see what answer dad gives to the notice - he'll either bless it and the process isn't too complicated, or, he'll fight it, which will mean you'll need an attorney to attempt a contested termination/adoption case
    Catherine NeSmith
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  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    when she gets to the maturity level to where i can talk to her about her biological father i will, im not going to keep her from knowing her whole life who he is i just want him to go away til she is old enough to decide she wants to bring him back into her life if she ever decides to do that cuz heis no good for her and i dont want him helping in raising her in any way.



    i have him on child support, i keep in touch with them often, i let them know anything i know. if i find he has a job i tell them. we have had multiple court dates over him not paying and another one coming up soon, but he wont go to any of them. and even when he does get jobs he doesnt keep them.




    and im not complaining i just want everyone thats giving me legal advice to understand the full knowledge of whats going on.



    the only reason we are not married is because all our money goes into our kids and our home and trust me the effort i put into receiving the child support that is owed to me is like a full time job. if marriage is the next step to getting him to legally adopting her than i will look into it again when we get married. once we get married how would we go about him adopting her? would he need to get a lawyer or would i just have to go to court? which court would i need to go to?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    Child support = contact in many (if not most) States. This often precludes a stepparent adoption.

    If Dad were to file in court for visitation tomorrow, how would you handle it?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Oct 2012
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    Red Bank, Tennessee, United States
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    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    by telling them, using facts, that he doesnt deserve rights, that she has a dad already and if they feel he needs his rights then ok but i dont think it is in the best interest of my daughter.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    Quote Quoting Angelene Hargraves
    View Post
    by telling them, using facts, that he doesnt deserve rights, that she has a dad already and if they feel he needs his rights then ok but i dont think it is in the best interest of my daughter.

    I see, so as far as you are concerned, the father doesn't actually have any rights and since the child already has a dad, you have done everything you can to frustrate the child's and the actual fathers relationship. You just keep that up. It will be good for you.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    Quote Quoting Angelene Hargraves
    View Post
    by telling them, using facts, that he doesnt deserve rights, that she has a dad already and if they feel he needs his rights then ok but i dont think it is in the best interest of my daughter.



    You do not get to decide whether or not he "deserves" anything. What he "deserves" is completely meaningless. Completely.

    And really - go into court spouting off that she has a dad already.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How Does My Fiance Go About Adopting My Daughter

    Im not here to argue or get lectured, what im here for is legal advice on how to get my fiance to adopt her and i got the advice i needed. if u just want to argue please do not reply

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