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question about adopting child that already lives with you

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello. I have a 7 yo dd with my ex hubby. After we divorced, I had dd2. Her sperm donor (xbf) is not involved in her life in any way. When I found out I was pregnant dd2's father and I had already broken up. I had no place to live. xh let me move in here. I have been here ever since. I have my own room. We live together as a parenting unit for the girls. He is the only father dd2 has known. He loves her and she loves him. We have talked about him formally adopting dd2. That way we are protected in case her bio dad shows up later on, and in case something happens to me, he would be her parent still.

I know her bio dad would have no problem signing over his rights, as long as I can still find him, which I am 90 % sure he still lives in the same place. He has never paid anything and offered to sign over rights a long time ago, so I know he will. I just don't know how much this will cost, what the benefits and drawbacks would be... anyone else know anything about how to adopt a child that already lives in your home?
post #2 of 6
(this is not legal advice)

It really varies by state.

Does your state allow unmarried partners to adopt a child? If not, you may have to remarry your ex, in which case it becomes a stepparent adoption. If so, there still probably is some provision in your state code for domestic partner adoption. (I am not familiar with any law that allows a second-parent adoption by someone who is not the partner of the biological parent, but what you do in those partnerships is your own business.)

Those are usually pretty simple--streamlined home study (if any--which makes sense, as the child's already living there), streamlined GAL involvement (again, if any). You will need to formally serve termination papers to bio-dad, or else publish notice in a paper local to his last known address if you can't find him. There may be a waiting period between when the bio-dad terminates and your ex adopts (to allow bio-dad time to appeal) or it could be immediate.

I'd recommend talking to an adoption agency in your area--I know WI requires a single-visit home study from a licensed agency even in cases of stepparent adoption (here, BTW, you would have to be married for him to adopt) (no idea how much that costs). You may or may not be able to do the paperwork yourself (or have the agency do it); you may need an attorney. Here, it's possible to do it yourself, though an attorney makes it easier.
post #3 of 6
proto gave great advice..its going to be tough if not impossible for him to adopt if you aren't married.
Step-parent adoptions, if you are married, are usually very streamlined, as proto said. Here, in IN, there isn't even ANYTHING, no homestudy or anything, just notification to the biodad, and that's it.
I know because my dh went through it. He was married to his exwife, and they had 2 children together.....she also had one from a prior partner....but my dh raised that boy as his own as well....they always planned to have dh adopt the boy, but well..they divorced...halfway through the divorce, the lawyers told them the adoption wouldnt happen if they werent married, so they had to DROP the divorce proceedings, do the adoption, then refile for divorce.
post #4 of 6
Thank God the mom was willing to drop the divorce proceedings, jess! That could have been a real nightmare...
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Thank God the mom was willing to drop the divorce proceedings, jess! That could have been a real nightmare...
more child support for her, she was all for it
post #6 of 6
Money well spent, to preserve parental rights.
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