How would I terminate my child’s father’s rights?

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How would I terminate my child’s father’s rights?

My husband, whom my son knows as daddy, would like to adopt our son. My son is 5 years old and his biological father has only seen him twice in the last 4 years. He hasn’t called to ask about him or contacted me about visitation in years. Is it possible to terminate his rights so that my Husband can adopt my son? If so, what are the steps to do so?

Asked on December 27, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under certain circumstances it is possible to terminate your child's father's rights.  Involuntary termination may be granted if the father has abandoned your child. Fron your qustion, I assume that he is not paying child support. However, if he is (either in whole or in part) you probably can't get pursue termination on an involuntary basis.

That being said, you still have options. The father could voluntarily terminate his rights. Considering that he rarely sees visits your child, he might be happy to terminate his rights. The courts, however, may or may not approve the termination. They don't generally allow parents out of their obligations just because they don't want to pay child support. However, since your husband is willing to adopt your child, then the court will be more open to granting the termination because there is a "father figure" willing to take over those parental responsibilities.

At this point, you should consult directly with an attorney in your area.


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