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Adoption Issues/Adopting my fiance daughter


Hello my name is Bruce and I'm 23 and I've been with my fiance for 2 years. Were planning on getting married next year. I really want to go threw with the adoption process becase I have been there since day one. From the night that she was in the hospital giving birth. Anywho her father has shown no interest in trying to meet her and she's almost 2. Does he have any rights to her? He's not on the birth certificate either.

Hi Bruce-
Adoption laws vary from state to state, so I can only provide you with general information.  Usually, it is a good idea to get the child's birthfather to sign papers in which he relinquishes his parental rights to the child so that you can adopt her. A lawyer who does adoption work in your state will help you with this. If he does voluntarily relinquish his rights, this means that if you subsequently adopt the child, you, rather than he, will be responsible for the financial support of the child.  If he does not relinquish, there is a process that the court will go through in order to involuntarily terminate his parental rights.  The judge usually will insist on doing this even if the birthfather has not provided support or otherwise shown any interest in the child.
Some states do allow a fiance to adopt a child, but it might be a good idea to wait until after you marry to petition to adopt the child.  Since the judge has to make a decision regarding your fitness as an adoptive father, it will strengthen your case to already be married to the child's mother.  

Adoption Issues

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Peter C. Winkler, CSW


I have experience with adoption subsidy, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and variety of other adoption related matters. I hope that I can be helpful to those who are considering adoption or would like to adopt a child.


I am a social worker with an MSW and I have over thirty years of experience in family and children's services. I have worked as Director of adoption services and of the Interstate Compact in a large state agency. I have also provided direct services to children and families in a preventive services program. I currently prepare adoption studies for those who are adopting domestically or internationally.

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