Q: I have a 10 year old son. On his birth certificate, only I appear as guardian (I'm his birth mother).
His bio father never bothered to recognize him or even provide any type of support. I am now married (married 3 years and have been together for 5 years) and my husband wants to legally adopt him. Do I need to terminate parental rights with my son's biological dad, or can we skip that step and have my husband adopt him. I don't have any information on my ex's whereabouts and he has not had any contact with my son since he was 5 years old. Prior to his 6th birthday, my son only saw his dad maybe one or twice a year. He never provided financially for our son.
A: Adoption and termination of rights happen at the same time. You will need to file for a stepparent adoption, which the biological father will have a right to contest. If he has not had more than de minimus (small) contact with OR provided support for your child for over a year then his consent is not required to proceed with the stepparent adoption. His rights would be terminated once the adoption goes through.
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