Altamonte Springs, FL asked in Adoption for Florida

Q: Can we file termination due to abandonment and step parent adoption ( involuntary)

We lived in Texas for one year prior to relocating to Florida. My ex husband had 5 visits for 24 hour periods during the year ( his choice). After relocating, he has FaceTimed twice in the past year- once for 10 minutes thanksgiving and for 10 minutes three days ago. The child in question is now 2.5. He has sent diapers and wipes 4 times in the past year. He does not pay child support. He has not requested any visits.

My current husband would like to adopt her. She calls him daddy and everyone knows the relationship they have versus her bio father.

Bio father will not be open to signing over rights or permitting the adoption as it would make him look bad.

My husband wants to adopt her as he supports her and has a solid father daughter relationship. Given the facts, what would be our chances at winning an involuntary termination of parental rights based on abandonment and subsequent step parent adoption? Would he be able to appeal the adoption?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Deborah Annette Carroll
Deborah Annette Carroll
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Lakeland, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Thank you for your inquiry. The first issue I see is that you may have a jurisdictional issue that will have to be addressed before any adoption proceedings could move forward. If there were any court orders in Texas involving this child, it is likely that jurisdiction was retained in Texas.

As for the adoption, I can't speak to any laws in Texas as I am not familiar with their adoption statutes. But in Florida, lack of financial support with a showing that the father had the means to provide support and lack of emotional support for the child through bonding and time sharing , are factors that would be argued to prove abandonment. No attorney can promise you the outcome of a case. From the brief facts you've provided, it sounds like you have some argument to show abandonment. And yes, he will have the right to appeal if he can show legal error occurred.

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