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ulysses101
ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3405
Experience:  Over 10 years litigation experience in family, criminal, and civil law
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Situation is as follows: a 7 yr old child has been living

Customer Question

Situation is as follows: a 7 yr old child has been living with his mom and her fiancé for almost 5 years, the biological father is not in the picture and mom has sole guardianship. The fiancé has both financially and emotionally been the father to the child. The male fiancé wants to adopt the child. Does the biological father need to be served?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Canada Family Law
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 4 months ago.

Hello, thank you for the question.

What province are you in?

Does the mother or fiancee know where father is?

Is the father literally not involved at all? No contact? Is support ordered, and if so is it being paid?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
in Alberta
They don't exactly know where he is they guess somewhere in AB
There is a support order in place has been for 5 years @ 500 per month but she just got $3500 due to some sort of lien thing from Maintenance enforcement, they would like the support order removed once adopted.
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 4 months ago.

OK, what's your connection to the situation? I want you to stay anonymous, but I don't want to ask you for more information that you might not know yourself.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I am the mother of the male that wants to adopt the child.
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 4 months ago.

I see.

Before taking this to court and spending time and legal fees, your son and the mother need to make some serious efforts to find the father. There are two reasons for this:

Firstly, if they can find the father then they can likely get him to agree to the adoption since father seems to have no relationship with the child and wants to get out of paying child support, I assume. That $3500 may have come from father recently filing income tax return(s) and the refund to him was diverted to Maintenance Enforcement.

Secondly, they will have to serve him for the court to process your son's application to adopt the child. An adoption will strip father of all his rights and obligations to the child and grant them to your son. Those orders aren't made lightly, and best attempts at service have to be made.

So your son and the mother should start with the obvious methods. Do computer searches for his name, ask his family and friends if they know where he is because there's stuff going on that he needs to be aware of. If that doesn't pan out, then let a private investigator take a crack at it. That shouldn't cost much, and they know ways of getting at information which the general public isn't privy to.

If the father literally cannot be located, then a motion to the court for the order that Maintenance Enforcement disclose any knowledge they have about him to the court may be necessary. Perhaps this recent payment has some details which will help to locate the guy.

There are a number of ways that this can proceed, but to answer you: yes, father needs to be served with the application to adopt and your son needs to start looking for the guy.

Does that answer you? I'll await your question or comment. If I've answered you fully, may I please have a positive service rating? Ratings are how I get credit from the site for helping its customers. I'd really appreciate it.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok I guess I don't understand why they have to serve the father as he has no guardianship rights and hasn't been around for 5 years. that's extremely frustrating.
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 4 months ago.

I understand, but he's still the father whether or not he's been involved. Even if he hasn't exercised access in five years he still has the right to it under the existing court order, I'm sure. Stripping him of his fatherhood, as well as all his rights and obligations to the child, is a serious matter and he needs to be found, hopefully to get his consent and if not then to serve him.

If he literally cannot be found by any reasonable means then your son will have to bring a motion asking the court to process his application without service on the father, but that obviously requires a high standard of proof.

Anything else about this topic you'd like to discuss?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
no that's fine thank you very much for your help I certainly appreciate it.
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 4 months ago.

My pleasure.

Good luck to your son and grandchild-to-be.

If we're finished, may I please have that rating now?

Ulysses

Expert:  ulysses101 replied 4 months ago.

Or is there something else about this adoption topic that you'd like to discuss? If so then I'm here for you.

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