How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask lwpat Your Own Question
lwpat, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25387
Experience:  Practicing family law attorney
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
lwpat is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my step daughter is 12. Her mother has not seen her since she

Customer Question

my step daughter is 12. Her mother has not seen her since she was 8 mos old and after that called once a year on her birthday, which stopped when she turned 3. I have been with her since she was three and have been married to her father for 2 years now. If I were to adopt her, would I still need to contact the mother or is this considered abandonment/temination of parental rights?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 8 years ago.
This is sufficient to terminate her rights. You will still have to contact her and serve her with the complaint. It will be much easier if you contact her and ask her to do it voluntarily.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
if this is sufficient enough to terminate her rights, why would she need to be contacted? We don't want contact, as we do not want her to try to step back in after all this time.
Expert:  lwpat replied 8 years ago.
If you are going to terminate her rights, the court is going to require that she be served with the petition. That is the law. She can contest if she wants but it is really too late.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
so its just a paper she signs? does it provide her of the child's personal information (address, etc.) what will happen if she contests?
Expert:  lwpat replied 8 years ago.
There has to be a court hearing. If she signs all you have to do is to present her release to the judge. Otherwise she can contest and tell the judge why he should not terminate her rights.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
so again, does she gain access to the child's personal info.? does the child attend that hearing? or is the child involved in the court process in any way? and where does the hearing take place if we live in 2 different states?
Expert:  lwpat replied 8 years ago.
The hearing takes place in the county where the child resides. She will gain access to your address through the court records. The child will not have to be actually in the court unless subpoenaed by the mother.