What to do if I have married and my 11 year old daughter wants to be adopted by my husband and carry his last name?

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What to do if I have married and my 11 year old daughter wants to be adopted by my husband and carry his last name?

Her biological father has not seen her in almost 4 years. However, he is not willing to sign over custody. What kind of case do I have or will a judge give him visitation even if my daughter doesn’t want to see him?

Asked on September 27, 2012 under Family Law, Minnesota

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If bio father had not been involved in the child's life for over four years and a new dad is willing to come in an adopt, then you may be able to get bio father's rights terminated.  Termination is an extreme remedy that courts are sometimes reluctant to impose on an absentee parent.  However, if there is a new dad waiting in the wings, they are generally more willing to go with this remedy to give the child a chance at having a real parent in their lives.  To accomplish this, you need to hire an attorney to file a combination petition for termination and adoption.  Bio father will need to be served.  If he does not file an answer, then the adoption can proceed unopposed.  If he does oppose the termination or adoption, then he'll have to show up and defend his rights.  Even though your daughter's wishes are not controlling, considering her age, it is a factor the court can take into consideration.


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