Adopting step son

James Thomas

New Member
Jurisdiction
Massachusetts
I would like to adopt my step son. His biological father hasn’t been around/seen him/paid support in almost 10 years. He is 16 years old and would like for me to adopt him.

My wife and I don’t know how to go about it since he is on his birth certificate.
We read something about filing for abandonment but we’re unsure if we do that first or if that is a part of the adoption process.

We have the paperwork to file but wanted to check first.
 
I would like to adopt my step son. His biological father hasn’t been around/seen him/paid support in almost 10 years. He is 16 years old and would like for me to adopt him.

My wife and I don’t know how to go about it since he is on his birth certificate.
We read something about filing for abandonment but we’re unsure if we do that first or if that is a part of the adoption process.

We have the paperwork to file but wanted to check first.
Is there a child support order in effect? If not the father has no obligation to pay. If there IS a order, then your wife needs to file for contempt.

Adoption is NEVER a do it yourself endeavor ...Seek assistance from an adoption attorney.
 
You need an attorney. Adoption is not a do-it-yourself project.
 
In order to adopt, you will either have to have the father's parental rights terminated or get him to sign off on the adoption. Either way, you will have to make a legitimate attempt to locate the father, so that's probably the very first step in the process.

As far as legal procedure goes, I will echo what others have told you: adoption is not a good DIY project. Consult with and retain a local attorney.

While your motivations are not terribly relevant to your inquiry, I have to wonder what you hope to accomplish given that the child is less than two years from the age of majority.
 
While your motivations are not terribly relevant to your inquiry, I have to wonder what you hope to accomplish given that the child is less than two years from the age of majority.

My daughter was a few months shy of her 18th birthday when the step-parent adoption was finalized. There are legal reasons, but there are emotional and familial reasons for it as well. The very fact that they both (OP and stepson) desire it is enough.
 
I would like to adopt my step son. His biological father hasn’t been around/seen him/paid support in almost 10 years. He is 16 years old and would like for me to adopt him.

My wife and I don’t know how to go about it since he is on his birth certificate.
We read something about filing for abandonment but we’re unsure if we do that first or if that is a part of the adoption process.

We have the paperwork to file but wanted to check first.

The first thing is go talk to a lawyer. Adoption is not a DIY project. And a lawyer can give you actual legal advice. Some do free consultations.
 
In order to adopt, you will either have to have the father's parental rights terminated or get him to sign off on the adoption. Either way, you will have to make a legitimate attempt to locate the father, so that's probably the very first step in the process.

As far as legal procedure goes, I will echo what others have told you: adoption is not a good DIY project. Consult with and retain a local attorney.

While your motivations are not terribly relevant to your inquiry, I have to wonder what you hope to accomplish given that the child is less than two years from the age of majority.

Perhaps just because he's probably been the only father that kid has known and the child would legally like him to be the father...
 
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