A mom writes in asking for advice about how her boyfriend might go about adopting her children. She says the children’s biological father has not been very involved in their lives. He does not pay the child support he owes. He has put up fights in court. This mom would like her current boyfriend to formally adopt her kids, but the father refuses to give up his paternal rights, despite his lack of involvement. What can she do?
A member of the community asks:
“How can my boyfriend go about adopting my children?
My ex and I have two children together: 3 years and 5 years. He’s been in and out of my children’s lives over the years. He is on child support but never pays; court’s been a battle. He is on both of their birth certificates.
Long story short, we have each moved on, and my boyfriend and I are talking about marriage, and he wants to adopt the girls. How would I go about doing so? I’ve given my kids’ father the option of giving up his rights in the past, and he refuses. I’m so stumped, and my boyfriend has been more of a father and my kids love him and call him daddy sometimes already. Any advice would help. Thank you in advance!”
Community Advice for This Mom Who Wants Her Boyfriend to Adopt Her Children
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“He’d have to willingly give up his rights or the judge would have to strip him of his rights. If they see no reason to take his rights away or he refuses there’s really nothing you can do.”
“Girl, get married and test the relationship before you worry about this. It’s insane to invest in this idea when you haven’t even invested in your own relationship yet. Then talk to a lawyer about it when you can afford to do so.”
“In my state, the parent and the adopting parent need to be legally married for at least 1 year before adoption proceedings can even begin. Get married first and then talk to an attorney to find out the steps in your state.”
“It’s different depending on the state. I know someone who was adopted by their stepfather and their mom only had to run an ad in the paper for 30 days before the judge approved it. I was told in my state that you have to have proof the bio dad hasn’t been on the child’s life for 6 months and already be married to the person who is adopting the child. They also told me child support was a completely separate issue and may not change depending on circumstances.”
“More love is always good. Your kids will feel it. He doesn’t need to adopt them, just be there. Get married. Wait 3 years and make sure all is well. Then see an attorney and start the process for your state.”
“If he won’t sign over his rights the only way to do it is through the court but you would have the burden of proof on you not him. And him not paying child support and being in and out of their lives isn’t enough to get his rights taken away.”
“Why can’t your kids have both? Your current man as their stepfather/role model type AND still have their father around as well? I mean if he hasn’t given up his rights, he must still want to be involved, at least to some extent.”
“Let your boyfriend be their dad, but let their biological dad maintain his legal obligation, and never be the one to stand in the way of the kids knowing and having a relationship with their dad. If he wants to throw away his relationships with them, let that be on him, or if your kids decide they don’t want to see their dad, let them make that decision. As their mom, you should just live and support them and help them through their heartbreaks and disappointments.”
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