How do I go about the adoption process for my son?

angelnettaFebruary 23, 2009

I live in Cherokee County, Ga and am getting married in a few days and my fiance wants to adopt my 2 year old son not to long after. My sons bio father is not there for my son at all really and has only seen him once since he was born, calls every other week, and does not even contribute any support at all. He left me a week before his own flesh and blood was born for my so called friend and moved to Idaho. I lived in Arizona at the time and he was not put on the birth certificate because he was not there to sign it cause we were not married. My fiance was there for the birth and has been taking care of my son as his own since. Do I have to have the father sign over right even if he does not even care about the adoption and is not on the birth certificate? I do not have a address for him and he moves to much to even send him anything. I do not know how to go about the adoption process. We are trying to do it as less expensive as possible. Does any one know how to even get it started and what should I expect? How long does it take? And do I have to file in the same county??

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lovehadley

I think the first thing to do would be to call a lawyer.

My DH went through a court battle over his DS recently. I have a DD whose own father is non-existant. No child support, no contact in over 6 years, etc. My DH asked the GAL about adopting my DD and the GAL said to wait until he had been married for a YEAR.

I don't know what the reasoning behind that statement was? It may be that he just has seen too many step-parents adopt a child, only to wind up divorced from the bio-parent, and that he thinks it's wise to not rush into anything. OR it could be that a judge is more likely to grant an adoption if a couple has been married for at least a year.

If the father is not on the birth certificate, I'm not sure how that works. Have you ever gone to court? Has paternity been established? My DD's bio-father is not on her birth certificate, either, even though we did go to court and he is legally recoginzed as her father. He was court-ordered to sign it---but that costs $25 (GASP) and he, I guess, never felt like paying for it. Oh well. I could care less.

Anyway, I would consult an attorney.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:01AM
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imamommy

"I don't know what the reasoning behind that statement was?"

There is a lot of reasoning behind waiting a year after you get married. First of all, sometimes non existent parents find out you are remarried and all of a sudden, they pop out of the woodwork and want to reclaim their family/child. It isn't about the child, it's about their insecurity and having some other man/woman raising 'their' child.

Then there is the issue of second marriages having a higher divorce rate than first marriages and adoption, unlike marriage, cannot be reversed. It is a legal obligation until the child reaches majority and you cannot divorce an adopted child.

angelnetta, you need to speak to an attorney about adoption, not seek advice from the internet. I'll share my honest opinion, it seems that there is a lot of instability in your situation. Now, I don't know it all from your short post but your ex ran off with your friend before your baby was born and you've all moved to different states and he moves around so much you can't track him and nobody has ever put a dad on the birth record. and now you are getting married to a guy that was there when your baby was born... after you say your ex left just a week prior? That's a lot going on in two years time.

This is just my opinion but an attorney would know for sure. You should establish the father with DNA testing and then proceed with terminating his rights and then proceed with adoption. If you shortcut it, saying you don't know who the dad is (and I don't know if you can even do that) then the real dad may someday pop up, ask for DNA test and toss any adoption out of the window. See an attorney.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:43AM
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sweeby

I'm with Ima on this one. Go slowly, and use a lawyer, crossing every T and dotting every I. Too much is at stake to allow sloppy paperwork to put the whole process at risk.

Imagine you try to short-circuit this and that someday the bio dad does show up and wants to start something. He could legally contest the adoption, and without any paperwork showing he was aware of his paternity, that he 'abandoned' his child, and that agreed to the adoption, he wouldn't have a hard time painting the picture that you 'hid' his child from him and then 'stole' it away by having new BF adopt.

You may also want to start a case for child support. Not only will it be helpful financially, you may also find it a great incentive in case 'Daddy' really doesn't want to be involved.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:54AM
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finedreams

what seemed strange is that he is calling every other week. he never sees his kid and yet he calls quite often. is he calling to talk to you? and what is he talking about?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:29AM
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lamom

angel,

imamommy is right, parents pop up when their status is threatened, even if they are not involved. They want to know their parental door is still open even if they don't walk through.

Adopting so quickly after the wedding feels like a push. You don't need that kind of fight so early in the marriage. What's the rush anyway? Your new husband can be very fatherly to your 2 year old withough the formality and possible problems of an adoption.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:48PM
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sue36

You need to speak to an attorney. Adoptions have been nullified because a bio father wasn't notified, even though not listed on the birth certificate. This is no different.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:19PM
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