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My son's father called me last night saying he ws sick and tired of having to set time aside to see DS and of paying c/s for a child who doesn't really want to see him AND calls someone else daddy. He wants to sign over his rights.
He hasn't seen DS in nearly a year. His mom and sisters spend alot of time with him, but he doesn't, so this wasn't a complete surprise.
Me and DH had talked previously and again last night and he wants to adopt DS, assuming his father signs his rights over. DS has called DH for 3-1/2 years now, by choice. He recently started calling his father by hi first name, "because thats what everyone else calls him"
SO I was wondering if anyone had information for me and my husband about step parent adoptions? We live in California.
Good luck to you! Here's some good information....
SUMMARY OF PROCEDURES: There are only 3 basic procedural steps to any civil matter; including adoption of a step-child.
1. FILE THE PAPERS
2. NOTIFY THE 'OTHER' PARENT
3. ATTEND THE COURT HEARING
* Adoption also requires a Social Study and criminal history check of the adopting party to be conducted and filed in the case. After the adoption is filed, the social study and criminal history check are completed during the period that the other parent is being served or voluntarily signing a surrender of their parental rights so as not to delay the adoption unduly.
Step 1: Filing legal papers - the first step, is just a matter of taking (or mailing) some papers to the District Clerk's office at the court house and paying the filing fees.
Step 2: Notifying the 'other' parent - the second step - is usually also simple. You will need to decide which means of authorized service you wish to use to notify the 'other' parent that you have filed for the termination of their rights and adoption of the child by the step-parent.
Waiver of service & Surrender of Parental Rights: allows an agreeable biological father to sign a waiver of the formalities of service of citation notifying him of your suit and voluntarily surrendering their parental rights.
personal service may be by one of the following methods:
By Constable/process server actually going out to where the biological father lives or works and handing him the papers. The process server then completes a 'return of citation' showing that the biological father was personally handed the papers.
Certified mail sent by the clerk allows the biological father to be notified (served) through the mail. The Clerk's office sends the citation by certified mail with delivery restricted to the biological father only. Once he has signed for the certified mail, the green card with his signature is returned to the Clerk's office as proof that he was served. The clerk then sends a letter to you verifying that service of process has been made.
service by publication allows cases to proceed even when the biological father cannot be found to be notified or even if his identity is unknown. A notice is run 1 time in the newspaper in the county where the adoption suit is filed as service of process. The case proceeds just as if he had been personally notified
Social Study: A social study is required in any adoption , even when the child to be adopted has lived with the step-parent or grandparent who is adopting them. Although the social study may be seen as an 'intrusion' on the family life of the parents, it creates no major additional steps or requirements for you to handle in processing your own case. At the same time the suit is filed, or shortly thereafter, the judge will designate a person or agency to conduct the social study and file the required report. You will be notified by the agency\person conducting the study of their general procedure for conducting the study and a time will be set for the person to actually come out to your home and interview you. After the study is completed, the report will be filed with the clerk of the court and you will be able to see the report before the hearing date by simply going to the clerk's office and asking to see your case file.
(Personal Note : in my own case, the social worker sent us a form to complete within a week after being appointed by the court. The form primarily requested family history and information about the circumstances that led to the children living with the adopting party and requested we have it completed for him when he came to the house to do the actual 'study'. Our social study consisted of him going over the answers to the questions on the form with us and talking to the children briefly. (the children were 8, 10 and 12 and aware of the circumstances).
Criminal History Most states now require a criminal history check to be completed on any person adopting a child. The adopting party simply goes by the county sheriff's office and has a fingerprint card completed to be mailed to Austin for a criminal history check. (the form and address in Austin is included in the paperwork returned to you for filing). Some sheriff's offices charge a nominal fee of $5-$10 for doing the fingerprint card, but most make no charge for taking the fingerprints.
Children 10 years of Age and Over: Most state's recently changed the age of consent from children 12 years of age and over to those 10 years of age and over, and now requires children 10 years of age and over to sign and file a consent to their adoption. (the form is included in the paperwork returned to you for filing).
Step. 3: the final step, attending the hearing, is easier than you might think. It is a surprisingly informal and painless process wherein the parties involved in the adoption have the opportunity to formally 'request' that the parental rights of the biological parent be terminated allowing the adoption to be granted (unless parental rights of the biological parent have already been terminated or voluntarily surrendered).[/b]
Hi Traci and welcome to the group! Looks like Birdie posted some great info for you, thanks Birdie! I hope everything goes smoothly for your dh to adopt your son. At our first daughter's readoption hearing, there was a little boy who was being adopted by his step-dad and he was so excited he jumped around when the judge made it official. It was too cute.
Thanks. We're a bit nervous (okay, a bit is an understatement) and we know that his father could change his mind and not sign his rights over. That's the hardest part. But the weird thing for us is a few months ag DS was playing with 2 of his friends (6 and 8, adopted from Romania) and they were telling him that they were adopted and didn't grow in their mommies tummy, but in her heart. He came up to me and said "mommy, can daddy 'dopt me like jeremy and johnny were 'dopted?"
DH cried when he found out the DS's bio-dad wants to sign his rights over.
We have agreed though that DS will still be able to have a relationship with his nana and aunts on his fathers side as wll as his cousins and great grandma. I called "Nana" last night ebcause she had called m and she was worried that we wouldn't allow her to see him anymore (she sees everytie that his father is SUPPOSED to be having his visit) so we assured her that would not be the case and she still was and would always be Nana to DS. Now she's behind us 100% which is not expected but surprising for us...
Bio dad wants to meet on Friday, won't meet with us sooner... He also said "make sure you have a babysiter, I don't want to see the little brat." That little jerk!