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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35352
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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There, My daughters father has not seen her in over 3

Customer Question

Hi there,
My daughters father has not seen her in over 3 years. When he did see her it was never consistent, I drove and set up every meeting together because he diddnt have a license and never asked to see her. One day he just moved away without telling anyone and never came back. He Facebook messages me every maybe 6 months just harassing me but making no effort to see her. He says he lives in new york now but I'm not sure since he would never give me his address in the even of an emergency, not even his phone number. My daughter is now 6 and does not remember him at all other than some guy that went to chuck e cheese once in a while. I am married to the man she thinks is her father, he has provided for her financially since she was a year old. My daughters biological father has never even paid child support. My question to you would be what are my options as to having his rights terminated or options otherwise? I know Washington is very pro dad. I am worried he would be awarded some sort of visitation even after 3 years of not seeing her. My husband would love to adopt my daughter.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
In Washington, a parent may petition the family court to terminate an absent parent's rights based on extreme parental indifference and lack of support for an extended period of time.
RCW 26.33.120 states:
(1) Except in the case of an Indian child and his or her parent, the parent-child relationship of a parent may be terminated upon a showing by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child to terminate the relationship and that the parent has failed to perform parental duties under circumstances showing a substantial lack of regard for his or her parental obligations and is withholding consent to adoption contrary to the best interest of the child.
So here, his failure to provide any type of support, either financially or emotionally would give you strong grounds to request that the court terminate his parental rights.
The fact that your husband wants to adopt the child would further strengthen any petition because the courts like to see an intact family unit and if he has been her de facto father due to the absence of the biological father, I would opine that the court would rule that this was in the best interests of the child to legally establish that relationship.
You would need to contact a local family law attorney to assist in filing the petition to terminate as well as the adoption petition as they can be heard in the same case at the same time.

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