Thank you.His name is XXXXX XXXXX birth certificate but I am told that has no bearing in the state since we were never legally married
Incorrect. Even if you were not married, he is considered the father and has the right
to be served and contest (if he so chooses) any action in regards XXXXX XXXXX of the child.
You are right about serving him "via substitution," however. If you do not know where he is, then you would have to serve him via substitution, which involves asking the Court for permission to do so via newsletter, court wall, etc. This way, once he is "served" via substitution and does not answer in time, he defaults, and you can do as you with.
You have a little issue. The step-father cannot "adopt" unless the bio-dad's parental rights
have been fully terminated. This means that along with the adoption petition, someone in your situation may wish to file a petition for termination of parental rights to be heard back-to-back.
Normally, if he was around, this would not be an issue (especially if he did not object). However, if he is not, the Court may be wary to terminate a rights of a father who was never really served per se. And without a termination, you cannot have an adoption...
An alternative would be to assign the step-father "guardianship
" status, making him a legal guardian of the child. This would still involve serving the father, but you would not need to terminate his rights to get the guardianship approved, and the step-father would still have all the same rights as a parent (hence, the term "legal guardian of the child").
Because this matter involves several intricacies, an attorney is strongly
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