Bethany, OK asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Oklahoma

Q: I have sole custody, what proof do I need to show of abandonment etc so my new spouse can adopt my children?

I was given sole custody, all divorce states is I have sole custody and respondent to pay X Amt of child support.No visitation was granted etc. Nothing has ever been paid, and he has not even had contact in nearly 3 years. He has had CF and CM arrests in the past few years (drug abuse)with deferred sentencing w probation so far on them. What burden of proof and how do I need to show he hasn’t been involved in anyway so that my spouse can adopt? If I have sole custody do I even need his consent?

2 Lawyer Answers
Hans Otto Lehr
Hans Otto Lehr
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: If the biological father has not had substantial contact with the child in 12 months, you may be able to proceed with an adoption without the biological father's consent on the grounds of abandonment. Failure to pay child support and lack of interest in exercising visitation in this time can be some of the evidence you present in support of your request. This can be a complicated process and you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Melissa Oxford agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Melissa Oxford
Melissa Oxford
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: I agree with Mr. Lehr. In addition, moving forward with an adoption without the biological father’s consent on the basis of abandonment is a complex, fact-specific analysis and in some instances a Judge may even take into account (among many other factors) whether or not a birthday card was sent to the child. However, keep in mind your current spouse must meet certain qualifications for a step parent adoption to be approved, and you must have been married for one (1) year. In addition, if the child is older than twelve (12), they must also consent to the adoption. Luckily, a step-parent adoption does not require a home study under Oklahoma law. I certainly recommend you consult an adoption attorney.

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