Do I Have to Notify the Biological Father to Let My Husband Adopt My Son?

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“I had my son 4 years ago when I was unmarried in the state of California. His biological father refused to sign the birth certificate when he was born however, my son’s last name on his birth certificate is my last name hyphenated with his father’s last name as well. I have since married another man who has taken on the responsibilities of being my son’s father in the absence of his biological father. My husband would like to adopt him and change his last name, so I am wondering if I will have to notify my son’s biological father or have him sign off on anything in order to do so even though he did not sign the birth certificate. ”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Changing a name is a fairly simple process through the probate Court. There are some forms, and plenty of self-help books and articles available.

Adoption is more complicated. It involves terminating one parent’s rights in favor of someone else. More paperwork. Mybe a home visit from a caseworker. Start your reseach soon, or hire an attorney (or exceptionally competent paralegal) to help you.

For both processes, biological father (if known) would need to be served with notice of the proceedings effecting your son. This is true even though he is not on the birth certificate.

Recommended Reading (click on the picture for details):
Insight Into Adoption : What Adoptive Parents Need to Know About the Fundamental Differences Between a Biological and an Adopted Child --- and its Effect on Parenting

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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