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What would the process be in Texas for a Step parent adoption

Customer Question

What would the process be in Texas for a Step parent adoption with these following circumstances:

1. No father on birth certificate
2. Possible father has had no visitiation in two years, no contact in a year and never gave financial support to child - now 7.
3. Unknown whereabouts of father - hard to find do to lifestyle (drinking, drugs, etc)

And how long does the marriage have to be to be able to file for adoption?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for choosing JustAnswer!

You can Notify the biological parent that your spouse wants to adopt your child. If the parent is no longer a part of your child’s life and you don’t know where he is currently living, then Texas allows for notification by newspaper (but you usually need to show the judge that you looked for the father).

It's possible that if you find the father then he will simply sign the documents and consent to the adoption. If he objects, then it will be necessary to prove to the court that terminating his rights is in the best interests of your child. This is often the most difficult part of the process because the termination is considered permanent and cannot be undone. A judge would need substantial cause to terminate the rights of an objecting parent, such as the fact that he has never supported your child financially or has been absent from his life for a considerable period of time.

You will need to file a petition for adoption with the court. If the other biological parent has agreed to terminate his parental rights, then you would simultaneously file his affidavit of consent with the petition for adoption.

At the initial hearing the judge will review your petition and decide whether your child should attend counseling, then he will set a date for a final hearing after a reasonable amount of time for counseling to be completed.

At the final hearing the judge will have to terminate the other biological parent’s rights either by consent or because he has decided that it’s in the child’s best interests. He will also then rule on and approve the adoption.

If you are uncomfortable navigating the court system then you should contact a local adoption attorney to discuss your options. Should you choose to do so then the following link will allow you to select your area in Texas and it will then display contact information for adoption attorneys near you:

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Adoption/Texas

I hope this has helped and I wish you all the best. Please let me know if you need me to further clarify my answer and I will do my best to so clarify.

Thank you,



Robert

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