Q: What is the best way to terminate parental rights?
My 11 month old son's father has been in and out of the picture since he was born. We are now broken up and I'm dating someone who is interested in adopting my son. As of right now we have not established paternity, but the bio father is on birth certificate. I just received a text from him yesterday saying he is going to "move on and start a new life". He also that he is clearly not best for my son because he feels he is mentally unstable. I have always thought that it was best that he signs over his rights and is out of his life for good. What should I do from here? Do I need to establish paternity to sign over his rights? I know as of right now he doesn't have any rights but I am worried that if we just let him go now he will come back at anytime in my son's life.
A: To make it legal you will need to go through dependency court. Even with the father's cooperation a termination of parental rights can be difficult. Look for a local family law attorney who handles dependency cases.
A: The person that you are dating really would not be able to adopt easily at this time. If you were to marry, it would be a step-parent/close relative adoption which is a different procedure than a step-parent adoption. The Court typically will not approve of a termination of parental rights absent something like a step-parent adoption as it is considered against public policy.
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