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  1. #1

    Default Terminating Parental Rights in New York State

    Hi, greetings. Here is the situation that I am dealing with. My present girlfriend has a 1 year old child that she had with her then boyfriend. She told him that she was pregnant and was inclined to keep it if it was healthy. He then told her that he was leaving and he left. When she applied for some social services, she gave the offices his information because they required it, I suppose for them to try to get reimbursement, and I guess nothing ever came of that.

    He hasn't been seen in almost 2 years, since the week he found out she was prengnant. He moved from New York to Pennsylvania.

    So my girlfriend and I will probably be married in a couple of years and I would like to raise this child as my own, and adopt him. I have been doing some research on terminating parental rights in New York State, and from what I gather, there are three types of fathers: legal fathers, presumed fathers, and alleged fathers. Now this deadbeat almost certainly falls into the third category: alleged. I believe this because his name is not on the birth certificate, and he's made no effort to contact her or send any financial assistant even though he knows where she lives because she hasn't moved and he also has her phone number. He promised to send her checks when he left but he never has. I think he is just trying to forget that he has a child.

    If by this time, he has had no contact with the child in 4+ years once, and never having met him, does a termination of his parental rights seem likely? It is quite possible that he may consent to the adoption, making this a moot point, but it is also possible that he might not want to sign it.

    In New York State there is a putative father registry that a father must add his name to to be notified of any adoption proceedings, I believe. I am 99% sure that this guy is not on it. Does this mean that the adoption can be finalized without his consent or notification, if in fact his name is not on it?

    Also, how long do you have to be married in NY before you can initiate a step parent adoption?

    The reason that I ask is that I read this case here:

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/463/248/

    The case was called LEHR vs ROBERTSON(1983), and it went before the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Here's the summary:

    "Appellant is the putative father of a child born out of wedlock. Appellee mother of the child married another man (also an appellee) after the child was born. Subsequently, when the child was over two years old appellees filed an adoption petition in the Ulster County, N. Y., Family Court, which entered an order of adoption. Appellant never supported the child or offered to marry appellee mother, did not enter his name in New York's "putative father registry," which would have entitled him to notice of the adoption proceeding, and was not in any of the classes of putative fathers who are entitled under New York law to receive notice of adoption proceedings. After the adoption proceeding was commenced, appellant filed a paternity petition in the Westchester County, N. Y., Family Court. Appellant learned of the pending adoption proceeding several months later. Shortly thereafter, his attorney sought a stay of the adoption proceeding pending the determination of the paternity action, but by that time the Ulster County Family Court had entered the adoption order. Appellant filed a petition to vacate the adoption order on the ground that it was obtained in violation of his rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Ulster County Family Court denied the petition, and both the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals affirmed."

    So basically since the dad in that case didn't register on the registry, the adoption could go through without his consent. But this guy in my situation has never even met the child. I have read on here that it is hard to terminate parental rights but I am just wondering how likely it is that his can be successfully terminated?

    Is he even entitled to notification or is consent required considering I am almost 100% sure that he's not on our state's registry? Last question I swear: Does the fact that he moved to PA after finding about the pregnancy complicate this adoption that would take place in NY?

    Thanks a bunch.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    P.S. i found this thing from NYS law. What do you guys think?

    This is regarding terminating the guy's parental rights:

    http://www.askthelawyers.com/article...raverman_a.htm

    "When is Consent not required?
    Consent is not required of a parent when:
    (1) the parent evinces an intent to forego parental rights by failing, for a period of 6 months, to visit and communicate with the child;"

    And here's information about NY's putative father registry that I mentioned earlier:

    "What is the Putative Father's Registry?
    The Social Services Department shall establish a putative father registry of: any person adjudicated by a court to be the father, any person who has filed with the registry a notice of intent to claim paternity, any person who has filed with the registry an acknowledgment of paternity. When a father has filed with the putative father registry, he is entitled to notice of the adoption."

    I think the last sentence of that last paragraph is key. When he's filed with it, he's entitled to notice. But if he hasn't, and I'm almost certain he hasn't, then he's not?

    Thanks

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    You can expect the court to want the putative father to be served with notice of the adoption proceedings. Why are you so eager to avoid service upon him?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    You can expect the court to want the putative father to be served with notice of the adoption proceedings. Why are you so eager to avoid service upon him?

    Mr Know it all,

    Hi, did you see the part of my post where it mentions that NY State has a putative father registry?

    I'm eager to avoid service upon him because he may contest it and if an adoption can be finalized without his notification under the law then why not go for that?

    Also, do you have any opinions on the likelihood of him having his rights terminated if he continues to maintain no contact or provide no financial support having never met the baby either?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    Tell it to the judge. It's up to the judge, not you, to decide whether that statute applies to his situation. And if he wishes, the putative father is entitled to argue any facts or circumstances which would render it inapplicable.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Tell it to the judge. It's up to the judge, not you, to decide whether that statute applies to his situation. And if he wishes, the putative father is entitled to argue any facts or circumstances which would render it inapplicable.
    I know this. I never said it was up to me. If it was up to me he'd be in jail for being a deadbeat dad, jeez. why are people so argumentative on here?

    am i allowed to get witnesses to testify in adoption hearings?

    i do not get what youa re saying. did you read the lehr case? the putative father was NOT on the putative father registry so the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that he was not entitled to notice and that the adoption could be finalized without his notification in an NY Court. That case has been on the books for 20 years, and you are telling me that I'm being sneaky by wanting to avoid serving him with notice. What are you getting at?

    He KNEW that there was a pregnancy, left town because of it, and witnesses can testify to this fact, literally a dozen of them. He won't have anybody like that on his side who can testify to that in open court.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    I don't know why you're being so argumentative. You would have to tell us.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Terminating Parental Rights in New York State

    Okay, whatever you want, Mr. Knowitall. I don't get why you won't just look at what I posted instead of continuing to insist that deadbeats dads are entitled to notice, even if past case law FROM LEHR says that they are not. It's not me making the decision, it's me looking at case law and realizing.

    Putative fathers have a responsibility to add their name to the registry to receive notice of adoption proceedings, in NYS.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Tell it to the judge. It's up to the judge, not you, to decide whether that statute applies to his situation. And if he wishes, the putative father is entitled to argue any facts or circumstances which would render it inapplicable.
    Absolutely correct!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Terminating parental rights in New York State-help?

    Quote Quoting seniorjudge
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    Absolutely correct!
    senior, how can you say that this is the case when i cited an example from the past in NY where a father failed to register on the putative father registry and the court ruled he was not entitled to notice?

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