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

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer

James E Hensley Jr

Answered
  • 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.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.