Q: My husband and I have had full custody of MY biological grandaughter for 12 years. she is now 13.The biological father
has had his visitation rights terminated. the biological mother could see the child with supervision but has never approached that. neither has seen her since she was 18 months old. She calls us mom and dad but knows her circumstances. she would like to be adopted so that we all have the same last name. that's all that would really change. also, she currently has medicaid, which may be affected with adoption. can we do this? do we have to make an effort to find and contact the biological parents?
A: You would not have to notify her biological father, if his parental rights have been terminated (you'll need to verify this). You will need to notify her biological mother, and if possible, get her consent. Otherwise, you'll need to have her parental rights terminated as well. Her last name would not be the only thing to change, from a legal perspective. If, in fact, all you want to do is to get her name changed, perhaps her biological mother would consent to it?? There are a lot of things to consider here, in order to determine what is the best way to proceed. Consult with an attorney to find out all the details of what to do next, depending on how you decide to proceed.
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