Can My Husband Adopt My Daughter, Who Was Fathered by Another Man?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

‘My ex boyfriend and I have a 2 year old child together. His name is not on the birth certificate and paternity has never been proven by the courts. I have given his name as father to DSS for medicaid so child support enforcement is in the process of finding him to establish paternity. I recently got married and my husband sees himself as her father. She sees him as daddy. Her biological father met her once more than a year ago and has not seen or spoken to her or me since. He’s never even supported my daughter in anyway. My question is, do I need to go through the courts and have his rights terminated or can my husband adopt her?’

Question: It is rare that a court would terminate a biological father’s rights, absent egregious abuse or genuine, immediate threats to a child’s life or limb, unless the biological father is willing to voluntarily give up his parental rights to allow your husband to adopt your daughter.