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Can a child be adopted by the steparent without the consent of one biological parent who refuses to sign?
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Can a child be adopted by the steparent without the consent of one biological parent who refuses to sign?

The biological father is stationed overseas and is afraid something will be done without his consent- the biological mother and stepfather have already began the adoption process- they know where the father is and have already gotten his answer as "no" to the adoption but are still persistent about matter- What rights does the biological father have and what can he do from overseas?
Additional Details
to clear any confusion - I am the wife of the biological father - and reference to childsupport , the mother of the child had the child support stopped when she remarried three years ago (on her own free will) - said it wasnt needed


Phil R
It depends on the state laws where you live. For the most correct answer, you MUST consult an attorney licensed in your state.

Since the biological father is stationed overseas, the Soldier's and Sailor's Relief act also can come into play. He can delay any action on this (if he obtains counsel promptly and uses the law) until he returns from his overseas deployment.

In SOME states, if the biological father has had no contact, and has paid no support, then regardless of his consent, a court can determine that his consent is not necessary. However, that does not appear to be the case here. You are, by your own admission, aware of where the biological father is. If you fail to inform the court of this, and thus fail to give him an opportunity to object, you have not only committed fraud on the court, but the adoption can be overturned, causing even more turmoil to the child.

I hope you have a good family law attorney. He/she can advise you how to best proceed. Regardless of how you proceed, I really hope you don't try and trash the rights of a serviceman who can't properly defend while he is not in the US.

They would have to have the parent who ( does not sign) declared as unfit. And the burden of proof would fall on the mother and stepfather. This is not easy to obtain as the judge would want proof. Lots of proof!.
Such as non-support. No contact with child. etc.
If I were the father, tell him to protect his rights , before he leaves the country, by contacting a lawyer. Or if he is already overseas, write to a lawyer , where this might go to court.They can take care of it,until he can get back and protect himself.
I have a friend who's husband is in jail, and they couldn't even take away his parental rights, with out his o.k.

NO.. the other parent has to sign over thier parental rights.. the adoption can not be completed without this unless the first parent is deceased.. or has been proven unfit in a court.

This guy needs to talk to his CO, he has more rights while he is overseas than if he were stateside. The child should be getting an allotment, and I cannot imagine a lawyer that would handle it. If they lie on the adoption papers they are both facing criminal charges.

Normally if he is paying his child support, and if he says no,and the court knows where he is.

Normally the adoption will only happen if the bio father does not object.

The bio father would lose all vistation rights, and even any right to contact if they child is adopted.

He could see about filling an injunction to stop them from filing any papers for that.

call a friend of mine debbi, she can help you decide what kind of atty you/he will need. and it's a very affordable price monthly.
debbi 18664713782 or www.debbicarroll.com and tell her mark referred you

I don't know what he can do overseas, but I do not think the courts would allow this without:

a. his written consent

b. proving he is an unfit/absent parent by choice.

If he is not abusive, a drug addict, or in some other deplorable state I don't think it would be possible

If they know where he is at they have to tell the lawyer this. If he is overseas due to military reasons it will be a lot harder for the stepfather and mother to proceed at this time. If he is just over there then they can go on. Just because the biological father does not consent doesn't mean the child can't be adopted. The stepfather and mother will have to go in front of a judge and explain why they feel the stepfather should become the childs father. It is a little bit of a lengthy process, but it can be done no matter how the father feels.

Joni B
I sure hope not.

Not usually but the biological father had better get himself representation in the court just to make sure that his rights are respected and the mother is not misleading it as to his disposition.

No, the step-parent cannot adopt a child without the consent of of one biological parent IF that biological parent has custody rights. The biological father can give up his parental rights, which would relinquish him of any responsibility to the child, and/or his rights could be taken away if he was proven to be unfit.
Only then can the child be adopted by the step-parent, because now the father's rights over the child do not exist.

A costly, lengthy court process would be needed if the father absolutely refuses to give up his rights, and the battle is likely not to be vistorious unless the father can be proven to be unfit or gives up under the enormous court cost and stress.

by the law no - but if they say they don't know where the dad is all they have to do is place a add in the news paper for 30 days and he could lose his rights and then the child could be adopted.that's how my step mom got me adopted said she didn't know where my mom was - ran the add in a paper where she didn't live

if he is overseas military he needs to contact legal for help to make sure nothing shady happens. if he isn't there they can claim anything. if he pays child support or has been active in the childs life they are gonna have a hard time to make an adoption fly without consent.

he should also contact their lawyer to make sure his wishes are not being neglected. if he tell the lawyer and he is denied his rights its that lawyers career.

Usually not, but see an attorney to be sure.

Get an attorney, it looks as if they figure they have rights because the child is not being properly cared for. and the courts may agree with them. Where is the mother, whom where they left with while he left to go overseas, what provisions were made for the care of the child. Where are his parents the biological grandparents in all this. THIS is going to court, he needs some help and fast. What rights does the step parents have over his child. Who are they and where is the mother of the child.

It shouldn't happen since the overseas parent would need to relinquish parental rights. However, if the court thinks he isn't responding to their summons or something like that, they might think he is just ignoring them, and decide to go ahead with the process. He needs to make sure the court knows where he is and he doesn't want the process to go through.

I doubt it. Talk to a lawyer.

kathy n
as the parent of 3 adopted children, I can tell you that unless the biological parent gives up parental rights there is nothing you can do

No, the stepparent cannot adopt the child unless the biological parent gives up his rights.

I moved here when i was 6 weeks pregnant, my baby was born here. My child is now 5 but when she was born I sent a paternity paper to Jamaica for the father to sign. However, that is all he has ever done for the child. Bio-father has never been to US, he has never had any contact, no kind of relationship with child. Now i am married and my husband would like to adopt the child, i need to know what to do.

Since he agreed with the wife that child support was not needed, sounds like he gave up his rights or simply did not care. BUT, if he wants to fight this, he better talk to his JAG lawyer. And he will be liable for back child support.

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