What to do about an illegal adoption?

My stepdad adopted me when I was 11. In order to do that, my mother had to seek out my biological father to give up his rights, which he did. When I turned 18 I set out to look for him and found him. It turns out, however, that his brother is actually my birth father (a paternity test has been done). Does this mean my adoption is null and void? And can I change my last name to his?

Asked on November 6, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't mean your adoption is null and void if there was reason to believe that your adoption was valid at the time and the brother was the actual biological father and not your true actual biological father. You are now 18 so it truly makes no difference in terms of adoption and it doesn't make a difference for your name.  You can seek a number of things...from amending your birth certificate to changing your name officially but keep in mind that you have someone who adopted you and in terms of estates, you would be a recipient of your adopted father's estate.

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