Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Michigan

Q: My daughter was born in Florida and we reside in Michigan. Her father lives in Fla. Where would court be held?

He is not on the birth certificate and has never paid support. She doesn't even know him. Now he demands I give her to him or he will go to court. What are my options? Can she be legally adopted by the male figure in her life?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jane A Bassett
Jane A Bassett
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: If your child lives in Michigan with you, then in general Michigan would have jurisdiction to hear a step-parent adoption. The more complex question is whether or not her biological father has rights allow him to prohibit the step-parent adoption. If a court has found him to be the father through a paternity action, then his rights would have to be terminated or he would have to consent. Terminating a parent's rights is difficult to do, but not impossible. It would depend on the circumstances surrounding the amount of contact and support between the parent and child. If there is no finding of paternity, then the process is significantly easier. Please remember that this is general information and not specific legal advice. You should consult with a qualified attorney to make sure that all of the facts and circumstances of your situation are factored in before taking any action.

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