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Terminating a father's rights while he is in jail.

My daughter is now 7. He has been in jail since she was going on 3. My husband wants to adopt her. And I want him outta the picture completely. He is on the birthcertificate. We were never married. And he has never paid child support or anything for her. Actually, he has not done anything for her. Has not tried contacting her or anything either. My husband has been in my daughters life since she was 3. And he is the world to her.
So. I want him to terminate his rights to her so that my husband can adopt her. But how do I go about doing this while he is in jail? Do i go there myself and get him to do...I have talked to lawyers but for some reason they never call me back. I am going to be making a list of questions and calling a laywer here prolly today. But I wanted to ask here to see if anyone has had this same experience...Thank you in advance. :)

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Asked by mazzyk at 10:28 AM on May. 3, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • Unless he is going to be in jail for the rest of your daughter's childhood, I don't suggest you have him terminate his rights. As long as he is her father, he is responsible for supporting her.
    I just received a huge child support check last week from my daughter's absent father. If he had terminated his rights and my current husband had adopted her, I would have never received that check. I know your husband is great for your daughter, but don't miss out on support owed because you want him to be her dad. He can still be her father and father figure all the while the sperm donor is supporting his responsibility.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:45 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • Money isn't the important thing here. If I really cared enough to have him stick around to get a check I wouldn't be asking this question. I want my husband to adopt her, he wants to adopt her. He has been her dad and he is the only dad she knows. I just want him out of the picture and not deal with anything in the future. I am not going to miss out of any support he has to offer because he has no support. He has been in and out of jail since she's been born. If he even thought about her for a min. He wouldn't be in there. So that is not an option. Thanks tho.

    Answer by mazzyk at 11:23 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • Look at the requirements for your state. In some states, as long as the father has made NO attempt to contact the child for 365 days, his rights can be terminated. You need to strike while the iron is hot, and that my dear, is while he's in jail. Even if he opposes having his rights terminated, you can fight it, and any judge can look up his arrest record and see that he is NOT the kind of person who should be helping raise a child. If anything, you'd end up with SOLE custody. Call those lawyers, and get the ball rolling, you have a massive upperhand right now.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:34 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • I used a lawyer because I didn't want to risk possibly screwing it up. Tell the attorney the facts and ask what you have to do to get his rights terminated. Ask how long it will take, what can go wrong, and how much it will cost. GL!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:41 AM on May. 3, 2010

  • it depends on the state. i contacted the lawyer and they told me that they don't terminate unless you have someone to adopt and you do. but i am in pa so i have no idea where you live. i am going to still eventually try. i didn't know about the 365days. that is good to know. good luck

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:40 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • i feel you!!!!! im going through the same thing with my son father i want him to give up rights if he cant and will not paychild support, he has not payhed in like 3 years my son is going on 4 in nov.

    Answer by elias1mamma22 at 1:22 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • Why would you want that anyway? He is her father and weather he's in jail or not weather you found another man or not HE IS HER FATHER. MY DD's daddy is on his way to prison in less than a month he will be in prison and I have no clue when he will be out until he is sentenced. Weather I find another man or not he is her father. I would leave it for her decide when he gets out and not before. I always wanted my stepdad to adopt me and he said no because I have a father. He may not be a great one or even a good one but he is my father. I no longer speak to my father or stepfather. May I ask why he is in prison?

    Answer by delilahsmom1177 at 1:36 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • You cannot make him sign over his rights but you can ask him. One of the attorneys will call you back. Be patient but I'd be writing bio dad and seeing if he'll do it. No use spending money on a lawyer if bio dad refuses to sign

    Answer by admckenzie at 1:46 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • Well. I am not stating why he is in jail. That is not the point. My reasons for doing this are good reasons to me. He is not a father to her, he never was he had 7 years to prove that, and he sure didn't. She has a father. To me a dad doesn't need to be the one who helped create. My husband has stepped up beyond limits to support her and be there for her. Something alot of men don't have the courage to do. Her father is not a good person. I don't want to have him in her life. I don't want to risk the fact that one day if he were to have visitation, she be taken from because of his bad choices. With that. I thank you all for the support and the advice you have given me. I found a lawyer in indianapolis who specializes in adoption. and under the Indiana law it states that a stepparent who wants to adopt, can adopt WITHOUT consent of the non-custodial parent under these circumstances...

    Answer by mazzyk at 10:39 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • No consent is necessary in a stepparent adoption if any one of the following four circumstances apply:
    The non-custodial parent has abandoned the child for more than six months.
    The non-custodial parent has failed to support the child for more than one year or failed to make court-ordered, child support payments.
    The non-custodial parent has failed to significantly communicate with the child for more than one year.
    The non-custodial parent is unfit to parent the child, issues such as drug abuse, mental illness, or imprisonment may indicate unfitness.

    Oh and by the way. Its WHETHER....not weather.

    Answer by mazzyk at 10:40 AM on May. 4, 2010

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