Can My Husband Adopt My Son?

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I live in Texas and I have a 12-year-old son. My husband, who is not his biological father, has been there for him since he was 6-months old. Recently, I contacted the biological father and asked if he was willing to sign over his rights since he has never meet my son, has only paid child support 4 times in the past 12 years, and my husband wants to adopt my son. However, the biological father has threatened me by saying if I do not forgive the back child support he will not sign over his rights. Mind you I became pregnant at 16 and the biological father went to prison since I was a minor and he was of age. He had to register as a sex offender and was very abusive. If he decides to pay the back child support can my husband still adopt my son? Also, if he does not sign over his rights can my husband still adopt my son?

[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.]

You have two distinct issues here: 1)Back child support; and 2) The termination of parental rights.

In regard to your first question, the back child support your child’s father owes may be subject to state fines, penalties, and possibly criminal charges. Under most state jurisdictions, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled which permit the waiver of owed child support. You need to talk with an attorney about this matter.

In regard to the termination of his parental rights, you can file an action to have his parental rights terminated based on his past history. He can oppose the termination, but ultimately the court will decide. Further, once the parental rights are terminated (if this occurs of course), then your husband can file for adoption of your son. You do not have to agree to waive the back child support your son’s father owes in order for your husband to adopt him. You should talk with an attorney about how to terminate his parental rights under your state law.

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Author: House Attorney