I was never married to my child's father.
My child is 11 1/2 years old and has had no contact with the father in 9 years. There was contact the first 2 1/2 years. This contact was minimal and only happened when I actively tracked down my ex and tried to convince him to connect with the child. As my child's vocabulary improved, my child started making comments to me that lead me to believe that my continual attempts to insert the child into my ex's life and his subsequent rejections were only doing damage. I ceased attempting to contact my ex.
I have not left the area and my ex has always known how to get in contact with me. This has never been attempted.
Within the last year I contacted my ex through the internet requesting his address for a step-parent adoption. (I had been advised that if I could find him, I needed to as a legal notice publishing would look shady if he was easy to find) He ignored my first 4 or so messages but finally responded when I sent a message stating I was over the past and just seeking to make sure our child was taken care of.
At first the interaction was positive. We chatted a bit and I updated him on the child. After a bit of contact, his tone turned negative and he started stating he would not allow this to happen. I dropped the issue, no longer messaged him and figured we'd try for this at a later date when the child is older.
I was served this week with a verified petition for paternity. What chance do I have of responding with termination? I believe if I had not tracked him down myself for the adoption, this never would have happened and we never would have heard from him.
I don't think it matters, but in case it does, I have been married for 6 years.