step-parent adoption in AL

delilah_sApril 23, 2009

Hello everyone I am new to the forum and have been reading over a few posts. I am like the most of you. I am the BM of two kids from an abusive marriage. I left my ex over three years ago and he got visitation of kids. He never wanted the baby (a boy, now 4) only the girl (now 6). Daugther later told on him for "touching her", we pressed charges but he was let go because of her age. They said it was a hard case to prosecute (we live in Alabama). Well, he has not saw her in 3 years now (in June) and my husband (of 2.5 years) is the only dad my kids know. He is literally the only dad my son knows, but my daughter remembers her BF and is extremely terrified of him. Her school has had to call me a few times b/c she was so upset b/c she thought she saw him coming to "kill her" (he threatened her with that before, she's told counselors), teacher could not calm her down. Anyway, we have filed for an adoption and are waiting to see if it gets contested. Has anyone gone through a contested adoption hearing that can offer advice about "if" that happens? Will daughter have to testify? I am a little nervous about it being contested. I haven't saw him in 3 years and am still a little afraid of him myself!

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I don't have any experience at all with that, but just wanted to give you a cyber hug. I know in my state a non custodial parent can lose rights after just one year of no contact. So I'm assuming 3 years is a pretty big deal.

Good luck and best wishes.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 1:25PM
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Big hugs. I have no experience with it either. I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 2:22PM
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Has a Guardian ad Litem ("GAL") been appointed in your case? A GAL is usually an attorney appointed by the judge to conduct an investigation (sometimes the investigation only involves a simple office visit where the GAL will meet with you, your husband and the children). The GAL is also legally obligated to make every attempt to contact the childrens' father (i.e., letter at last known address and/or publication in local newspaper, etc.) in order to determine if he will consent to the termination of his parental rights and subsequent adoption or if he contests it. Sometimes the parent is unable to be located so the GAL will then submit the newspaper publication as evidence of his or her failed attempts - if the judge declares that all avenues have been exhausted and finds your husband as a suitable father for your children, then your petition will be granted. I would advise that, if a GAL has been appointed in your case, you speak with him or her about your concerns and your state specific laws. The above information applies to my state but it may not apply to yours.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:45PM
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Lonepiper, thanks for the a GAL has not been appointed as of yet. Our attorney said a GAL would only be appointed if the adoption was contested by BF. We have notified him and must wait 30 days to see if he contests..if he does, the case will be kicked to juvenille court, a GAL will be appointed, and as my lawyer said "the fight starts". I am pretty aware of the sequence of events, I guess you could say, I am just nervous about having to go to court and was looking to see if anyone had any actual experience with the court process to ease my nerves. My lawyer actually, has never had an adoption contested so he really can't give me any points except textbook answers. I was just wondering about real-life experiences with contested adoptions. I really should not be so nervous, we have a permanet PFA against him for DD's abuse (I don't know how or if that will help in adoption court). I just can't help but be nervous about having to face him again. Does that make any sense?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 7:24AM
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I don't know about the adoption thing but I would love it if DH could adopt my boys. I do totally understand the nerves of going to court and having to face your Ex. When we were first divorced and he was at his craziest just going to walmart would make me ill. We both lived in the same town and would round the bread and there he would be. Instant need to puke!

I can't offer any advise but if it helps to know we feel for you then know we are here for you.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:52AM
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