Stepparent Adoption Consent Form & Biological Father

From Taylor from Lakeland, Florida, Polk County

 My husband and I have been married for just over 2 months but have been friends for many years. When I found out I was pregnant, my sons biological father abandoned us. My husband and I were dating throughout the entire pregnancy and have been together ever since then. Since he was not the biological father of my child I did not list him on the birth certificate. There is no father listed on my sons birth certificate. My son calls my husband his dad as he has filled those shoes for his whole life. I want to make if official and have my husband adopt my son. With there not being a father listed on the birth certificate is that going to make the adoption process easier? Do I still need a consent form?

 Answer:

A stepparent adoption is a bit more involved than most think. Whenever a child is involved in the legal system, the court is most concerned with what is in the best interests of the child. Your first step will be to try to locate the biological father and if possible, have him sign a consent form. If consent is not obtainable, the situation you describe may be enough to claim abandonment under Florida adoption law. See section 63.089(3)and section 63.089(4) of the Florida Statutes. My private investigator does a diligent search using what information you are able to provide such as his name, date of birth, last known address and any other information that will help find him. If the biological father is found then he must be served with the Stepparent Adoption Notice of Action. If the biological father is not found then the Petition is filed along with the Diligent Search and a Notice for Publication in the local paper of the last known address of the biological father. The ad will need to be placed and run the duration of the courts requirement. You will also need to search the Putative Father Registry maintained by the office of the Vital Statistics of the Department of Health. You can file a Motion and Order in the court that the judge will sign giving you the right to do this search. The Petition is actually a joint petition with you, the Mother, and your husband, the Stepparent. See  Stepparent Adoption Forms for more information. If you state in this petition the reasons why you want the adoption and confirm that all of the material and emotional needs of the child will be taken care of by the Stepparent, you will probably make it clear to the court your intentions. If the child owns any property then it will also need to be listed with the value of each item. If your son is older than 12 years of age you will also need to get his signature consenting to the adoption. After all of these steps have been successfully taken, then your husband should be able to adopt your son. This adoption will then terminate the parental rights of the biological father.

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