Can I change my son’s name or get him adopted?

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Can I change my son’s name or get him adopted?

My son’s bio father hasn’t been around since he was 6 months old (he’s almost 4). He never signed or even wanted to sign with the registry of birth. He refused to sign the birth certificate and I have no idea where he is now. I have been married for almost 2 years and I was curious if I was allowed to change his last name or get him adopted without his bio father. M.y husband is the only father he has ever known I’ve read that if a father never registered for paternity he has given up his child or if he has not seen or spoken with us for 6 months it’s also gone. Is this true?

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

How wonderful for you and for your son to have a man in your life that is willing to take on his reponsibility. It sounds as if your son's biological father really wants noting to do with helping to raise him but you will still need to terminate his rights before the adoption by your husband.  This is generally done in one proceeding.  Courts prefer to terminate if there is some one "waiting in the wings" to step up to the plate, so to speak.  Now, it may be that his bio father will willingly give up his rights which makes things easier for you.  The bargaining chip here is that if his rights are terminated so is his obligation to pay support.  Sounds like he would agree to that.  Good luck.


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