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How hard is it to have someone's parental rights taken away?

My son's father hasn't been in his life for years. Actually, my son just turned 8 and was 2 1/2 the last time his dad saw him. I am with someone new now and expecting another baby. My boyfriend would like to adopt my son when we get married. To my understanding to be adopted by the new husband my son's biological father must give up his parental rights. Is this a hard thing to do through a court? What are the factors a judge would look at?

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Asked by kitten_shuga at 11:43 AM on Jul. 6, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 3 (13 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Generally the rule of thumb is if the father has not seen/contacted the chid in a year than it is considered abandonment and his rights can be terminated by a judge. You have to go through the courts of course and will not get child support

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:45 AM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • The father has to sign his rights over and most likely since he has not been a major part of the child's life the judge will allow it.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:01 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • Check your state laws. My friend's ex left the state and although he called occasionally, she had no idea where he was or how to contact him. Her new DH wanted to adopt.

    Her lawyer had her run an ad in the paper asking for the ex to contact her or parental rights would be terminated. She had to sign paperwork stating she didn't know where her ex lived or how to contact him, as well. After XX amount of time, they went before a judge and had his rights terminated.

    The state allowed her new DH to adopt the girl after they had been married two years.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 12:05 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • TALK TO A LOCAL LAWYER!!! You cannot obtain proper legal advice on a message board!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:20 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • anon :20-actually she can and she did. There are SOME moms who actually work for or are married to attorneys

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:40 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • I'd call a state adoption agency and talk with their lawyer. They tend to talk to you on the phone and for free without an appt. (my experience with them) The point is to go to an expert in the field, not just a regular attorney who doesn't do this for a living. My niece wasted a lot of money on an attorney who screwed things up bc she wasn't an adoption attorney and everything fell apart and even the judge got pissed!

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:57 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • Anon, I am not asking for legal advice, I was just asking the basics of how this usually works. Believe me, I know that laws vary from state to state and even though some things may have worked in a particular way in one case doesn't mean that it will be the same for me.

    Answer by kitten_shuga at 1:55 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

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