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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    4

    Default Can I Adopt My Stepdaughter and Change Her Last Name

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: California.

    My Stepdaughter is 11 months old, her last name is the biological fathers name.

    She was conceived by someone else while my wife and I were separated , the bio father knows its his child. and has claimed he we wants custody of her.

    He has seen her once for a few hours, ever ( his choice ).

    Me and my wife had decided a long time ago that we weren't going to give her up. but are concerned that he might have some sort of say in the matter regardless of the severe disinterest we have seen him have in her.

    We have not sought out child support because we want nothing to do with him and want nothing from him. My wife and I got back together when she was 2 months pregnant , the father has had nothing to do with us other than e-mailing to ask for ultrasound images and pictures (about every 3-4 months, longer since after she was born ).

    Initially we thought we were going to give her up to him so his last name is on her birth certificate.

    There has been no paternity test ( he is the only possible father the three of us had agreed since I had a vasectomy years prior to that and my wife and I had not had intercourse anywhere around the time of her possible conception ).

    Regardless of the last name on the birth certificate, what rights do we have?

    My wife and I were married through that entire ordeal, am I considered the legal father? or merely a stepfather? can he ask for a paternity test?

    What can we do to make sure he doesn't break up our family? What would look poorly on us? what looks poorly on him? how would any of this effect our two other daughters?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Can I Adopt My Stepdaughter and Change Her Last Name

    Please explain the circumstances in which you thought you would be "giving her up".

    And please explain the birth certificate - did your wife simply add his last name, or was he involved in signing paternity papers?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    4

    Default Re: Can I Adopt My Stepdaughter and Change Her Last Name

    The circumstances in which we thought we would be giving her up were pretty much that we felt pressured prior to his commentary about how he wanted her, we were also concerned that we would have a hard time providing her etc. nothing was actually set in stone.

    As time went on prior to the birth we felt more confident that we would be able to provide for her ( as well as felt that the bio father couldn't considering prior happenings in his life which nothing is really on record or anything ) and had more and more firmly decided to keep her over time and after her birth felt it would be the right thing to do. because we love her, and her sisters love her, and shes just the happiest little thing ive ever seen and as far as im concerned is just as much my daughter as my biological children ( although I spoil her a bit more )


    Yes My wife added his last name to the paternity papers, he was not there for the birth, nor after. he was called while she was in labor. never heard anything during her 2-3 day stay there during that time except when my wife called him after she was born.

    As I stated, he was only ever there too see her or have anything to do with her once, 2-3 months after she was born, for a few hours ( like 4-5 tops) .

    My wife and I got back together when she was 2 months pregnant. Basically as time has gone on since then, he has shown less and less interest in her but still spouts the same ( I want pictures and how is she doing ) stuff. but only through e-mail ever.

    Also forgot to add that the bio father is not on the birth certificate, because he wasn't there, they left the "father" portion of the birth certificate blank.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: Can I Adopt My Stepdaughter and Change Her Last Name

    Your wife could NOT have added his name to an affidavit/declaration of paternity without his consent.

    Please clarify - because it can make a huge difference.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    4

    Default Re: Can I Adopt My Stepdaughter and Change Her Last Name

    I apologize , my wife did not add his name as the father, the father was left blank because bio dad wasn't there and they didn't put me down at the time.

    What I mean is that the childs last name is the biological fathers last name on the birth certificate.

    I would check the birth certificate right now and make sure that there is no father but something happened to it and as it is the weekend I can't get it replaced till monday.

    But according to my wife, they left the father blank. because he wasn't there to confirm. and I am not the biological father.


    Do you think they can just add me as the father? Or would I be presumed as the father since we are married and were married during her conception and birth.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
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    Default Re: Can I Adopt My Stepdaughter and Change Her Last Name

    Okay, thank you for clarifying.

    You are the presumed father.

    However, biological Dad can file to establish paternity. Unfortunately for you, in California an intact marriage is not an automatic rebuttal to a challenge to paternity. Hence he is still able to file.

    Realistically, if he files and paternity is established, you both need to get comfortable with the idea of him being in this little girl's life for the next however many years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    4

    Default Re: Can I Adopt My Stepdaughter and Change Her Last Name

    It seems to me he as best as I can tell , wants her with him and really doesn't take the time out to visit, but to each his own I suppose. I guess the real show will be if he even goes through the effort to establish paternity and whatever other hoops he would have to go through to prove he actually does care.

    Thank you for clearing this up.

    Also curious, what if we moved to another state ( something we have been considering even before all of this came up ) would that change anything?

    Also wanted to know how I would go about having my name added to the birth certificate since it is blank. as well as having her last name changed.

    And what I could do to go about these things and if they could come back to bite us at all.

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