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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 117365
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My 3 stepchildren live with my husband and I. We have ...

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My 3 stepchildren live with my husband and I. We have almost no contact, and no child support, from their bio-mother. However, she does have sole custody according to the divorce decree. We never had to go to court because she allowed the children to go. My stepchildren are now asking me to adopt them. We live in Oklahoma. I am not aware of what constitutes abandonment here or what steps would have to be taken. Could you lead me in the right direction?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 years ago.
Just because she has consented to allow the children to live with you does not necessarily constitute abandonment. Because there is in fact a custody agreement granting her sole custody and that is not in fact what has happened, then the only way to prevent her from changing her mind is to have the agreement amended. As far as adoption, she either has to voluntarily surrender her parental rights or you will have to have the court terminate her parental rights. You can argue under abandonment, but almost no contact is not the same as no contact, and she is not under any order of support. The courts are very cautious regarding termination of parental rights and require clear and convinicing evidence. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that the court will not terminate those rights unless it believes it is in the best interest of the child.

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