Q: Bio Dad hasn’t seen my daughter in 14 months because of a order of protection. Can my husband adopt her? 10 years old.
He agreed to the order. He got arrested for felony stalking his wife. He has 5 other orders of protection. He has gone to rehab twice in the past 3 years for drug and substance abuse problems.
A: While your question is about adoption, in Arkansas you first have to address termination of parental rights, in this case the father’s. Under Arkansas law, besides death, there are only two ways a parent’s rights can be terminated. First, if they sign a written Consent that meets the statutory requirements. Even then, Arkansas law provides a mandatory waiting period before the Consent is effective. During that period, the consenting parent can revoke their consent and retain their rights. The only other legal method of termination of a parent’s rights is to allege and prove in court that the parent has “abandoned” their child, according to the statutory definition. In order to obtain a court finding of abandonment, the parent would have to be served with notice that you were trying to terminate their parental rights, and given an opportunity to respond to the court action. I would strongly advise you to contact an Arkansas attorney experienced in this area of law to assist you before taking any action. Through years of experience, I can tell you that in a situation like yours, proper planning, guided by an experienced attorney, is essential to accomplishing your goals
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