Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
Roger : This is certainly possible to do.
Roger : You would have to file a petition to adopt the child and also for the termination of the parental rights of the biological father. As part of the relief requested in the petition, you can ask that her last name be changed - - which would include changing her birth certificate, social security card, etc.
Roger : You will have to file a court petition, however, so it's likely that you would need an attorney's assistance. IF you can't afford an attorney to help, you could contact your local legal aid office or even the Arkansas State Bar Assn. and ask for help locating an attorney.
Roger : When you file the petition, the father would have to be named as a defendant. But, if you don't know where he is, then you can publish a summons in the local newspaper in order to gain jurisdiction - - which would relieve you of having to hunt him down.
Roger : This is generally not cost prohibitive IF there's no contest to the relief requested, which sounds like it would be the case here.
Roger : I'm going to step away, but if you need anything further, please let me know.
Customer: Thank you for your time and advice. God bless you and have a great thanksgiving.
Roger : No problem. Glad to assist, and I wish you luck with getting this done.