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  1. #1

    Default Proving Bio-Mother Unfit

    My question involves adoption law for the State of: Missouri

    NOTE: I am the step-mother, posting on the Biological Father's behalf (he hates computers).
    The biological father just received (in January) sole physical custody after being previously rewarded sole legal custody. Biological mother is only allowed supervised visits, at the discretion of the father, and only if she remains sober and in stable housing.

    The biological mother was arrested this past weekend, although not yet convicted, I am asking for when she IS convicted and sentenced... okay...
    The bio-mom was arrested and received a Felony D charge of possession (less than 35 grams of marijuana). She also received a Felony A charge of trafficking (she was caught with a friend and with 135 grams of methamphetamine and $2,000 cash).
    On top of it all, she was on a 24-month "supervised" probation (which has now been violated) following a recent conviction of aiding and abetting (assisting her convicted rapist boyfriend in escaping jail during a furlough release doctor's visit last year).

    NOTE: We are supposed to receieve $70 per month child support. She pays about $20 every 3 months just to stay out of trouble (as she is facing an additional Felony D charge for non-support - she has 5 other children in other families, although non of them have been adopted by the families that raised them). She does not call the child, she does not exercise her visitation rights with the child.

    When this charge goes through, is it enough to prove her unfit? I want to adopt my step-daughter, but I know that it's a hard hill to climb.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,669

    Default Re: Proving Bio-Mother Unfit

    If you adopt the child, and you and your husband divorce later on down the road, will you be ok with paying child support?

    If you adopt the child, and you and your husband divorce later on down the road, will your husband be ok if you get primary custody?

    Those are two major points that should be seriously pondered before ever considering a stepparent adoption. You have no idea how many people come to forums like these trying to figure out if they can undo a stepparent adoption. The answer to that, of course, is no they cannot.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Proving Bio-Mother Unfit

    We have an attorney, and both of us definitely understand the consequences that would occur in the event of a divorce.

    I was just hoping to find out whether or not this would be something to even approach our lawyer about at this time. Whether the current circumstances would be enough to prove the bio-mother unfit??

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Proving Bio-Mother Unfit

    Quote Quoting determined step-parent
    View Post
    We have an attorney, and both of us definitely understand the consequences that would occur in the event of a divorce.

    I was just hoping to find out whether or not this would be something to even approach our lawyer about at this time. Whether the current circumstances would be enough to prove the bio-mother unfit??
    Ask your attorney.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Proving Bio-Mother Unfit

    If your husband wants to modify the custody order, then you have described grounds that might cause a judge to limit visitation or possibly even order supervised visitation pending the mother's addressing her substance abuse issues and, if the boyfriend is still part of her life, any unwillingness to commit not to expose the children to the boyfriend.

    In terms of stepparent adoption? For involuntary termination of parental right proof the court must find that termination is in the best interest of the child and then find, by clear and convincing evidence, that at least one ground for involuntary termination exists. Any acts and conditions of the parent justifying termination must be analyzed for (a) whether there is sufficient reason to believe that the acts or conditions had an impact on the child; (b) whether the acts or conditions are severe enough to constitute abuse or neglect; and, (c) whether there is an indication of likelihood of future harm to the child. It is possible for a parent to have a serious drug problem, a felon boyfriend, a criminal record and pending criminal charges without meeting that standard.

    Your husband will need to discuss the details with his lawyer.

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