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Step Parent Adoption

Discussion in 'Adoption' started by Chamilton, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Chamilton

    Chamilton Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What steps do I need to take to file a motion to terminate rights of my daughters birth father? He has abandoned her on numerous occasions, most recent has not seen her in 10 months. He has not paid court ordered child support in over 5 years and is in the rear over $40k. He has an extensive criminal history, including drug and alcohol charges. My daughter has been asking for her step father, my husband, to adopt her. We do not have several thousands to spend for an attorney and from the brief research I have done online, and due to this being the child's request, I feel we have a very strong case to terminate and adopt. However, I need some guidance as where to start and how to do this on our own. Any advice would be extremely helpful.

    Thank you!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A private citizen has no authority to terminate the parental rights of anyone, even a former paramour, alleged to be the father of her child(ren).

    If he never legally established paternity by DNA testing, is not named on the birth certificate, it MIGHT be possible for your current HUSBAND to attempt an adoption.

    Either way, such an adoption isn't done by a form.

    Adoptions are expensive, take time, and must always be done through a court hearing.

    Read how it CAN be done in Ohio:
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    https://www.probatect.org/docs/defa...ns/inst_for-adoption-step-parent.pdf?sfvrsn=6
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    OSBA | Step-Parent Adoption Is Permanent
    /\/\/\
     
    Chamilton likes this.
  3. Chamilton

    Chamilton Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I know it has to go through the courts, my question is what paperwork do I need to file through the court to start the process. I've read the Ohio laws for terminating parental rights, and my daughters birth father does meet that criteria. He was never DNA tested, but is 100% her father and is on her birth certificate as such.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you review the links, EVERYTHING you asked about is on the one published by the Ohio Bar Association.

    I'll post Ohio law about paternity once more.

    Please read it.

    The fact that a name is on a birth certificate doesn't necessarily establish paternity.

    Under Ohio Revised Code, if a child is born to an unmarried mother, the mother is the sole residential parent and legal guardian of the child unless a court order is issued. After the parents establish paternity, the father may petition the court for visitation or for custody.

    Q: I'm not married to my child’s mother, but I signed the birth certificate. Must I also acknowledge paternity on the “brown” form?
    A: Before the law changed on January 1, 1998, signing the birth certificate was enough to indicate your responsibility as the child’s father and to allow a child support order to be made against you, but it was not an otherwise binding determination of paternity. Now, a man who is not married to the mother of his child cannot sign a birth certificate unless the mother and father acknowledge paternity under oath on the “brown” form. A father who wants to establish a parent-child relationship and/or to pursue rights regarding custody, parenting time and/or support (including health insurance and tax exemptions) should consult an attorney to begin a paternity proceeding (see above regarding administrative proceeding) and request genetic testing to establish the parent-child relationship.

    Q: When should DNA testing be used?
    A: Even when a man is sure the child is his, he should obtain a DNA test as soon as possible. DNA testing can be done easily by drawing blood or by swabbing some skin tissue from the inside of the mouth. The Supreme Court of Ohio made it clear that, if a determination of the father-child relationship has already been made, a person cannot come back later and say, “I'm not the dad,” or “He’s not the dad,” even though a DNA test proves what that person says. The person first determined by administrative or court proceeding to be the father continues to be responsible for supporting the child, regardless of the fact that a DNA test has shown someone else to be the natural father. This obligation continues unless BOTH parties agree to modify the earlier court order.

    On January 25, 2002, however, the law changed to allow motions for relief from such judgments to be filed even after orders finding paternity have been entered (Ohio Revised Code, Section 3119.961). For example, some paternity findings now can be overturned by a new genetic test that proves a person is not the child’s father. If a paternity finding is overturned, however, it only relieves the person from paying child support beginning from the time the motion is filed. It does not address issues of past unpaid child support or the return of support money already paid.

    Q: Where do I go to have paternity established?
    A: You can use the resources of your local county’s Child Support Enforcement Agency or you can use an independent laboratory. However, remember that a positive genetic test does not establish paternity. Paternity can only be determined administratively or through a court order. Therefore, a juvenile court filing is usually necessary.

    Q: Are there other reasons to have paternity legally established?
    A: Yes. A legally recognized father has rights to parenting time (formerly known as visitation), and he is entitled to equal access (equal to the mother’s) to his child’s school, medical and day care records and activities. Also, once paternity is legally established, the biological father can prevent the child from being adopted by another person without his consent or from being moved away from the jurisdiction without a hearing. “Putative” (presumed) fathers who want to be involved with their children should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
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    OSBA | Paternity Proceeding Establishes Parent-Child Relationship
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  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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  6. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    OP says in the FIRST post that Dad has not paid COURT-ORDERED Child Support. In your second post, you prove that Dad could not sign the birth certificate without signing the Acknowledgment of Paternity.

    Mom and her husband need an attorney to handle their adoption attempt.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    True, but Ohio recently changed the law for establishing paternity.
    Who knows?
     
  8. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    Adoption is never a DIY thing. So go talk to some lawyers who specialize in this and they can give you the proper and most current legal advice.
     
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