My question involves adoption law for the State of: Arkansas
I should probably start from the beginning. I met my ex when I was 16 - we dated a while, and I became pregnant. I never married him because I felt that we were too young, but we did eventually end up living together. Our son was born in July of 2005. I put my ex on my son's birth certificate, and gave my son his last name - but I do not remember whether or not he signed an Affidavit of Paternity, I need to know how to go about findint that out. My son and his father and I lived together until October of 2008 - when we went our seperate ways, I, of course, took custody of Jack.
The months leading up to my ex and I seperating permanently, he was hardly around in my sons life, and when he was, he never gave him the quality time my son so desperately sought from him. Even now, my ex has hardly anything to do with my son unless I am the one to instigate the visitation.
I have spoken with an attorney, and he informed me that in the state of Arkansas, since my ex and I were never married, nor were we married when my son was born, that he would have to establish paternity before legally becoming his "father".
Here is where my question comes into play. I have been dating someone going on 9 months now, and he recently proposed to me. He is a wonderful man, and has been developing a great relationship with my son. My son is also becoming rather attached to him. My sons biological father is basically absent from his life. He only wants a relationship with my son when it is convenient for him and his life, rather than when it is pertinent for my son. My fiance on the other hand, has only ever treated my son like his own, and I can see a huge change in my little boy since he has a positive male role model in his life.
My fiance and I have agreed to hold a longer engagement to give my son time to adjust to the thought of having a new man in his life. Even though he is adjusting very well, we do not want to rush into anything. We will not live together until after we are married of course...however, my fiance has brought up the idea of a step parent adoption when Jack, and I both feel that the time is right.
Assuming my ex did NOT sign an Affidavit of paternity at the hospital when my son was born, and he is on the birth certificate, will we have to have him sign his rights over before my fiance could legally complete the adoption?
Also, how would I find out if my ex did in fact sign the Affidavit? And if he did, what would we need to do then to complete the adoption?
Mom with a lot of Questions