Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Family Law litigation attorney here to assist you.
You will have to file a petition to adopt the child and have the mother sign a document known as a "joinder" that essentially says that she agrees to the adoption. Also, the father will have to be notified, and if he doesn't agree or can't be found, you will have to name him as a party and serve him with a summons (if found) or in the local newspaper (if whereabouts are unknown).
I would highly recommend that you hire a local family law attorney to handle this because of the due process rights of the child and the biological parents - even in situations where the parent or parents are agreeable to this.
You want to make sure this is done right - and if unopposed - an attorney should be able to do this for less than $1000.
One more thing regarding the father. No father is listed on the birth certificate. The baby is a product of a one night stand and no one is sure who the fater is. One guy did come forward and say he was the father but no effort has been made by him in the area of support or DNA testing. I basically told him if he wanted to play father to have his attorney contact me or my att. but he is young and stupid and never brought it up again. Im sorry I should have included this info,
If the father is unknown, you'd have to publish a summons in the local newspaper for the "unknown father of X child".
If no one comes forward, you've met your due process requirement and can continue with the petition for adoption.
If someone comes forward claiming to be the father, a DNA test will be ordered by the court.