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Old 10-26-2009, 11:12 AM
MorganFayesMom MorganFayesMom is offline
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Help with Step Parent Adoption

I'm very new here but found a lot of info in reading other posts. I hope someone can help me!
I got a divorce in Sept 2005 and got remarried in Aug 2007. I have a 6 year old from my 1st marriage.
My ex signed a Consent Agreement in lieu of going to court for visitation. In the agreement he was given visitation but was stipulated that if we moved away from the area, we would have to sign a new agreement based on living in different states.
We moved in Nov 2008 to over 100 miles from bio dad. Since moving, we have ceased visitation due to not being able to agree on guidelines and thus he has not been given visitation.
He has visited our home twice since the move, once in April and once in August
He pays NO CHILD SUPPORT and never has, when the original consent agreement was signed that was left out.
Now we want to let my husband adopt my daughter, the bio dad won't hear of it.
We have offered repeatedly to go to mediation, sign a new agreement, got to court....none of which he will participate in.
We are no longer offering anything to him. I think he is pretty aware that if he fights me on this that we will end up in court and he will end up paying child support. We also have documentation where we offered visitation and he refused it as well as documentation where we have offered up a new agreement that he also refuses.
What am I up against with filing a contested adoption?
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:07 PM
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zxczxcasdasd zxczxcasdasd is offline
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It sounds like neither of you will be happy if this ends up in court because 1) He will be required to pay child support and 2) You will be required to comply with reasonable visitation whether he ever has or ever will pay a dime in child support. You cannot withhold visitation for lack of support.

The only way to get an adoption approved would be to prove that he has willfully abandoned the child by making no attempt at visiting or contacting the child for whatever the time standard is for abandonment in your state, which it sounds like is not the case here.

It sounds like you were the one who moved away from him, not vice versa, and would prefer to sever the relationship and have your husband be her legal father, but you cannot do this if the father wishes to maintain the relationship with his child, even if you find him uncooperative to the terms you would like.

The refusing of agreements would not work against your daughter's father if they were agreements that he did not wish to consent to because they diminished his rights or his relationship with his daughter.

IMO, this is not a case for stepparent adoption, this is a case where you need to recognize that your daughter's father has no intention of giving up his rights and you need to find a way to make it work with him.

I do think it might be good to let the courts work out an agreement between you involving both support and visitation with which you would both be required to comply.

I'm not opposed to step-parent adoption as I'm an adoptive stepparent myself and know that it was the best and the right thing for my son.

But honestly, this sounds like fighting, which is very different from abandonment, and it sounds like you have tried to make it harder for him to stay in his daughter's life, which is not the way to go about it.
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