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 Tina Your Own Question
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Tina is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello. I would like some info about step parent adoption. I

This answer was rated:

Hello. I would like some info about step parent adoption. I gave birth to my daughter in 2006. Her bio dad was somewhat involved until 3 months of pregnancy. After that he claimed she wasn't his. He has not been involved what so ever. He is not on the birth certificate. He was not there for her birth. He has never seen her or sent her a card. He has never tried to get in touch with me or see her. I started dating a man (who has now been my husband for almost 6 years) when she was 6 months old. He is the only father she knows. She is now almost 7 years old. He would like to adopt her. I am about to start the adoption process. I would like to know more about what the bio father can do once this process starts. I had spoken to my lawyer almost 2 years ago about this but I cannot remember the details. I did some research and got her bio dads phone number in hopes that if the lawyer contacts him we wouldn't have to run an ad in the paper. Is having his number good? What if he claims he isn't her father? I know her bio dad isn't financially stable. I do not want any money from him. I just want him to sign his rights over. What are the outcomes? Thanks!

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Do you have any reason to believe that the biological father will contest the adoption? Do you have an specific concerns you would like me to address?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm not sure if he would contest. I think he may try to pull the "I'm not the father" card

Hello again, Rachel.

If he states that he is not the father, that would typically be good for you since it indicates he would not contest the petition to terminate his parental rights and the petition for adoption. If he claims he is not the father, the court could require you to serve any other man who could potentially be the father of the child, if any, so they have the opportunity to step forward and contest the petition.

Due process generally requires that the biological father have the opportunity to respond and oppose the petition. If he choses not to oppose it, that is his choice and the adoption is much more likely to be granted.

Even if he were to challenge the petition and seek visitation rights, he would typically be ordered to pay child support. Since he has never had a relationship with your child and has not attempt to support her, it is likely a court would find that he abandoned her and terminate his parental rights even over his objections since there is another man wishing to adopt the child.

In sum, it sounds as though you have a strong case for adoption, but you do need to locate the biological father and have him personally served with the petition so he has the opportunity to respond as required by Due Process.

Here is a link which provides information on the adoption process for step-parents:

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

There is no other man that could be her father. If he did claim she wasn't his would the court make us do a dna test. I mean I feel the point is mute since she's almost 7.

Hello again,

If there is no other man that could be the father, it is not likely a court would order a DNA test since this man has abandoned your child, so even if he were the father, his rights would likely be terminated.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I managed to get the bio dads telephone number. I had planned to give it to my lawyer in hopes that he could contact him. Possibly making the process go quicker.

Yes, if the attorney contacts the father and learns that he does not intend to contest the petition, then perhaps the father will provide the attorney with his address so he can be served promptly, which would satisfy due process requirements and permit the adoption to move forward. The father's incentive for doing this is that he will be assured not to owe child support in the future where he could be ordered to pay support if the adoption were not granted.
Tina and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much :)

You are very welcome and all the best to you and your family!