Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Arkansas

Q: How hard is it to do a step parent adoption without bio fathers permission

I had two children with my ex husband who draws ssi and is not required to pay child support bc of ssi. Our youngest was born in April 2012 and in May 2012 we separated when he left for work and never came back and I moved from Tulsa back to Arkansas. In october 2012 the divorce was final and he was granted standard visitation. But we never heard from him after that. In 2013 I met my now fiancé and he has raised Both kids as his own. My ex husband has had zero contact with either of our kids from 2012 to 2016. He messaged me in 2017 asking about them on Facebook and I never replied and I have not heard from him again... But there’s been zero contact. How much trouble would it be to get my fiancé to adopt? Without the fathers consent? My kids think of my fiancé as their dad and I don’t know how to do this without causing confusion and stirring up problems. I feel like he would fight it just to cause problems... And then again, he may not care at all.. I just don’t know.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stewart Whaley
Stewart Whaley
  • North Little Rock, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: Bio dad must receive notice, at least, and it would be best to gain consent and a waiver. Since he has not had contact in so long, it is possible a judge would find it is in the children's' best interest to be adopted by stepfather, even if dad doesn't consent.

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