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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    5

    Default Proving Abandonment for Adoption

    My question involves adoption law for the State of: West Virginia

    My fiance and I have been together for almost 3 yrs and will wed this May. She has a 3 yr old daughter. I have supported and raised her the whole time. She looks at me as her father. I wish to adopt her. We currently reside in WV but once my job training is complete we will be relocating elsewhere. We have to go thru the court to do this since my little girl's real father still has all his rights. Now about him. He has little to no contact with his daughter, and when he does she usually ignores him or calls him "guy" (until he tells her to call him dad and then she forgets by the next time) and treats him like she does our friends. He has never paid child support on his own, the only way she has ever gotten it was when Child Services tracks him down and automatically takes it out of his checks.....shortly after this happens, he quits (every time). He is an alcoholic and drug user (at one court hearing he requested drug tests cuz he was accusing my fiance, but he was the one who tested positive for pot and methamphetamine). He has no visitation other than having to come to our place to see her. Also, today he informed us that he was going to be leaving state (to MD). Last time he moved just 40 miles away, we never saw or heard from him till he moved back. Can he do this without going thru the courts like we must? He was going to be willing to terminate his rights until he was informed that I would have to adopt her in order for him to do so. I don't even understand why he hates me so much when I've taken over his responsibilities completely. So basically my main questions are as follows:

    1) Can he move out of state without court approval?
    2) Are any of these ground for abandonment?
    3) How difficult is it going to be for me to adopt her?
    4) With him leaving the state, do will still have to go through the court system to relocate?

    Any information valuable to this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    1) He can move wherever he wants.

    2) This is not abandonment in WV.

    3) If he wants to play Dad, the adoption likely won't go through

    4) If he leaves first, he'll find it nigh on impossible to prevent Mom and kiddo from leaving WV.


    Once you're married, and stable (there's no "set" time period that you have to be married in WV before a stepparent adoption can occur, but the court generally does want to see stability - try a year or so), you and Mom really need to speak with an adoption attorney who is familiar with stepparent adoptions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    Can she contact Child Services and request that they don't automatically take out child support and let him do it himself? We know he won't, but I was told once that it could hurt my chances for adoption. Also, he doesn't want to play dad or he would make some attempt. He just wants to do anything to make mine and his ex's lives difficult.

    P.S. love the hugo quote. my fav author.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    Why do you need adoption?

    I'm genuinely curious.

    Mom can't deliberately thwart his child support payments - if she chooses not to pursue CS, it won't be held against him.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    Various reasons really. Mainly cuz I love her more than I ever knew was possible, she is my daughter and always has been, just want to make it legal. Other reasons are cuz we are trying for another child and there is the last name issue and we don't want her to feel "different". Another big reason is if anything were to happen to her mom (really hope not, but you never know what the future holds), we wouldn't want her to end up with her real father or either of their parents (neither would be in her best interest). There are tons of reason we want to go the adoption route, but those are the biggies.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, she doesn't really pursue the CS, she just happens to have a good case worker who does her job. I make good money, we really don't need his, and he is always saying he'd have been better off if he didn't have her so he didn't have to pay. The reason I ask was cuz I was told it could hinder the adoption process even tho it's completely involuntary and he even quits his job as soon as they find him and start taking it out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    Quote Quoting JredTheRed
    View Post
    Various reasons really. Mainly cuz I love her more than I ever knew was possible, she is my daughter and always has been, just want to make it legal. Other reasons are cuz we are trying for another child and there is the last name issue and we don't want her to feel "different". Another big reason is if anything were to happen to her mom (really hope not, but you never know what the future holds), we wouldn't want her to end up with her real father or either of their parents (neither would be in her best interest). There are tons of reason we want to go the adoption route, but those are the biggies.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, she doesn't really pursue the CS, she just happens to have a good case worker who does her job. I make good money, we really don't need his, and he is always saying he'd have been better off if he didn't have her so he didn't have to pay. The reason I ask was cuz I was told it could hinder the adoption process even tho it's completely involuntary and he even quits his job as soon as they find him and start taking it out.
    If he is really saying those things. Have you ever offered the step parent adoption to the Bio Father? He may sign off making it easier and cheaper than having to fight him or prove abandonment. Tell him that she would drop all current and past child support. If he really means it when he states he would be better off if he didnt have her he just might sign.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    he was willing to terminate his rights, until he found out i was going to adopt. idk why but he doesnt want me to adopt her, but he doesnt want to be dad either.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    He can't terminate his rights UNLESS there is a stepparent adoption in your state.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Adoption/Abandonment Issues

    I know this, apparently he didn't.

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