Asked in Adoption and Child Custody for Arkansas

Q: Can my ex legal become my son's father without me having to marry him?

My son is 10 years old. His biological has never been in the picture. When my son was 8 month's I met a man that adored him. Even though we are not together now he has been helping me with my son, takes him to school, spends weekends with him, everything a father should do. We were better as friends and I would never take my son away from him. That's the only father he has ever known. My son asked me last year if he could take his dad's name. Of course I told him if he's really serious I would look into it for him. It's been a year and he's still saying he wants to do this. Is there a way the man he calls dad could legally be his dad? I'm not exactly sure how to go about it and I just always assumed you had to be married. But I don't want to get married for just that reason. We live in Arkansas and any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Conway, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: It is nice that you are considering your son's well-being over your self-interest. Lawyers don't see that too often. You have a couple options. The best is to have this man adopt your son. We will need to locate the biological father to sign off on the adoption. There are other options if you don't know his location. It adds a bit to the cost though.

The following people have to sign the papers:

You, the biological father if we can find him, the new dad, and even your son. In Arkansas, a child ten or over has to consent. Sort of nice isn't it?

You don't have to get married to anyone for this to happen

Here is what you should expect in the way of fees:

Filing fee: 187.50

Lawyer fees: $3000.00

Additional fees if we can't locate the biological father: 1200.00

Thank you.

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