Portland, OR asked in Family Law and Adoption for Oregon

Q: If a child has no legal father, can the child be adopted by their mother's husband when she gets married?

There is no one on the birth certificate, no paternity test, and no custodial or support agreements. Mother has full custody and has for the entire 6 years of the child's life.

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1 Lawyer Answer
M. Nicole Clooten
M. Nicole Clooten
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Pendleton, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Adoption terminates a parent's legal rights to a child. If there is no legal father, there are no rights to terminate. However, it is best practice, if the father is known, to have him served with the petition. If he has had no interaction with the child for at least one year, the adoption should go through. Keep in mind, adoption is a complicated process, and you would be giving rights to the soon-to-be husband that would much more difficult to reverse.

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