Can an adoption without parental consent be completed in Nebraska? To be more specific, can a stepparent adoption be done in Nebraska without the absent parent’s (usually the biological father) consent? The answer is a big MAYBE. Each case is so different that it is impossible to answer this question without knowing the facts of each stepparent adoption case. Here are two very general examples:
Example 1 - Biological father is not on the birth certificate. However, has been involved in the child’s life intermittently. Biological mother, who also has the child in her custody, filed for child support and the dad has been paying child support monthly. The mother is now married and her husband would like to adopt the child. In this case, the biological father is what we call an “adjudicated” father because the judge who ordered him to pay child support first had to find that he was the biological father of the child before ordering him to pay child support. So because he is an “adjudicated” birth father, you must have his consent to move forward with the step-parent adoption unless you can show that he has abandoned the child for at least the last 6 months before the adoption petition was filed.
Example 2 – Biological father is not in the picture at all. Biological mother never told him that she had his child. She does not know/remember his name, nor where he lives. Mother is now married and her husband would like to adopt the child. In this case, we must try to locate the biological father and give him notice of the step-parent adoption because he did not know of the child’s birth and has rights under the law. If he does not respond after receiving notice of the step-parent adoption, then we can proceed to terminate his parental rights in court.
There are countless other scenarios and many more facts often complicate each case. Whether the parental consent of the absentee parent is required or not differs from case to case. It is very important that you consult with an attorney experienced in adoptions regarding your case. An experienced adoption attorney will ask to hear the facts of your case before giving you any legal advice. It is very important that you are honest with your attorney because he/she is only using the facts that you are giving him/her.
For more information about stepparent adoptions, click here.
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Bundy Law LLC specializes in adoptions, including step-parent adoptions, domestic adoptions, “re-adoption” for international adoptions, representation for birth mothers, representation for birth parents, relative adoptions, adult adoptions and foster care adoptions.
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