What to do if my daughte’rs biological father denies that he is in fact her father?

I have been with my current husband (her stepfather) since I was 4 months pregnant with her. The biological father has never met her and refuses to talk to me. My husband wants to adopt her and we’ve tried but can’t because the biological father is being difficult. She is 7 now. Isn’t that considered abandonment or something? I don’t want anything from him. I want my husband to adopt her. She does not know my husband is not her biological father. My husband was there when I had her and has been everyday since. He has never used the term “stepchild” he always says she is his. We want her to have our last name and not my maiden. There is no father named on her birth certificate.

Asked on January 25, 2013 under Family Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unless the biological father signs an adoption agreement prepared by a family law attorney giving up his parental rights to his and your daughter, you cannot force an adoption via the court system.

One way to possibly get the actual father to sign an adoption agreement subject to court approval is to advise him that if he allows the adoption he would owe no child support ever.

As to the name change issue, you need to file a petition with the court seeking what you want and serve all interested parties including the biological father. The court will require a publication in a newspaper of at least once a month. Given the relatively complicated nature of a name change, I suggest that a family law attorney be consulted for this endeavor as well.

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