What do I and my husband need to do for him to adopt my daughter?

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What do I and my husband need to do for him to adopt my daughter?

Her biological father wanted nothing to do with her, has never seen her and she is 8 years old. I have no clue where he is, and he said if we ever tried to find him he would hurt or kill us. My husband has been her father since she was a month old and the only father she has ever known.

Asked on January 26, 2013 under Family Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that when it comes to the relinquisment of parental rights, the custodial parent cannot unilaterally terminate the non-custodial parent's rights. Therfore, as a general rule, your child's father would need to be a willing party to the action. Either way, there would need to be court hearings, counseling, etc. Of course since he has never seen her and appears to have no plans on ever doing so, that would be in your favor. Also, the fact that your husband wants to adopt her bodes well for you. Bottom line, the court will have to weigh all the factors and determine just what is in the "best interests" of your child.

At this point you should consult dierectly with an attorney and go over the details of your case; they can best advise you as to your rights. 


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