Dallas, TX asked in Adoption for Arkansas

Q: Can i legally adopt my own child?

I heard that i can legally adopt mine own child to end my ex rights. He hasn't seen her and won't pay support. When he does it was fews out of almost 5 1/2yrs. She now 7yr

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

A: The answer is "yes." In Arkansas it is called a single-parent adoption. It removes an errant father from the child's life. You may adopt your child provided:

1. You do not have any felonies on your record;

2. The father has gone more than one year without having a relationship with the child. That does not mean he can show up a couple times a year. The law requires parents to be engaged in the raising of a child.

3. The father has gone more than one year without paying support. He can't just show up on December 31st with a $20 dollar bill. He has to pay meaningful support.

4. It is in the best interest of the child for the dad to be removed. For instance, the child is in fear of the father, the father is mean or terrifying, he is a brute, uses drugs, etc. This list is not exhaustive at all.

Please realize that the law considers a bad father better than no father whatever that means. You will need an attorney to help you with this. Any mistakes at all and the petition will be denied. Fee and costs range from $3500 to $7500 depending on the need for a lawyer to help notify the father, filing fees, and if the father fights the adoption.

This is a very specialized type of case. When you call lawyers ask how may of these type adoptions that lawyer has done and how they turned out. All adoptions are complicated but a single-parent adoption is no regular adoption. It is very complicated and full of snares for those who have no experience.

I'm glad you are reaching out to protect your child. If something happened to you, Lord forbid, the child would go to the father. It is unlikely any other family member could overcome the presumption that the father has more rights than anyone else. Do something right away. And don't talk to the father or anyone else until you speak with an attorney.

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