“Is it possible in Missouri or Illinois for me to adopt my girlfriend’s 16 month old daughter when her biological father has been out of her life for over a year with no contact? His name isn’t even on the birth certificate. I have been supporting her for the last year and wouldn’t change a bit of it. I am the only dad she has known and I love and treat her like she is my own! Not to mention he used to abuse my girlfriend all the time. We just know he won’t sign the papers over.”
The Court will not typically terminate parental rights without the consent of that parent, no matter how inactive that parent has been. The biological father must agree to terminate his rights. The exception to this general rule is that if the custody parent is remarrying, the new spouse wishes to adopt the child, AND if the biological father agrees to the adoption, then the Court may terminate the biological parent’s rights to allow the adoption to proceed.