Q: Is there an age where a child can choose to be adopted by a step parent in Idaho?
My daughter sees her dad every other weekend. It has been a battle forever. My daughter expresses that she wishes her step dad was her real dad. I don’t want to rush anything but I am concerned that if something happened to me, she would end up with her bio dad where she does not want to be. I’m curious about our options as she gets older.
A: The only age "restriction" I am aware of is the age a child can be called to testify as a witness. Even this law is flexible, depending on the maturity of the child. However, it would be odd if a Court were to place this huge decision in the hands of a child. At age 9, judges must begin "listening" to a child's decision as to where they would like to live, in divorces. In your case, although you haven't indicated the child's age, I think you should only "pull the trigger" on this, after your child reaches the age of 9 and then the "older the better," sort of advice. Good luck however. The father seems like he wants to be involved in the child's life and although he doesn't treat her like you would like him to, or like she would like him to, he's still the father and he has a very strong, 14th Amendment right to raise his own children. Be very careful when filing this also, because some judges are easily confused at the child's wishes and will sometimes believe that the mother has "put fear or hatred" in the child's head and punish you for "going even further" by filing this type of thing. On the other hand, if the father is a bad man, an abusive man, you should have police reports involving the minor, where he has been arrested for child abuse or worse? If you do, then the above advice is garbage. However, if the father continues to visit the father (despite the badness of the father), then we have a situation that will be very confusing to a judge. Did the mother put things like this into the child's head? If there were abuse, why does the father continue to have visitation with the daughter?
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