Having no father on the birth certificate and having him not show up to the paternity hearing is good. No father is on her birth certificate. In Texas, the person filing for the step-parent adoption is referred to as the “Petitioner,” while the absent parent is considered the “Defendant.” Texas law requires that you and your spouse file a joint petition for adoption. Keep looking for an attorney that has handled stepparent adoptions. F: (806) 370-1783 Make copies of the notarized affidavit for yourself and the non-custodial parent. In other states, like Oklahoma, it's presumed that the mother has sole custody in cases where the parents were unmarried at the time of the child's birth and no father is on the birth certificate. Sometimes the judge may ask the child’s opinion, depending on his or her age. In all stepparent adoptions, the consent of the other birth parent is required. An Amicus Attorney interviews the parents, other person(s) involved in the Child's life, visits the home, etc. This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Under Texas law, your stepchild must have been living with you for at least 6 months before you can petition the court for adoption. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. My husband is the only dad she knows and wants to adopt her. BY: Always address the judge as "your honor.". Any advice? If you don't understand a question, ask for clarification first. The judge may also question the child, or the child's biological parents. The reports assist the judge in determining whether terminating parental rights of the non-custodial parent and allowing you to adopt your stepchild is in the child's best interests. In many states, after a child is adopted, the original birth certificate is sealed and no longer available. Attorneys are licensed by the State Bar of Texas. While obtaining the birth parent’s consent may make the road easier, you do … Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. It normally does not matter that the birth father is not on the birth certificate. My daughter thinks that my husband is her father, as he married me when she was 2. When a child is born the Texas Vital Statistics issues an original birth certificate. To adopt your stepchild, start by gathering documents you need, like the child’s birth certificate, your marriage documents, and the biological parents’ divorce certificate if they were married. Adopting a stepchild You need to tell your local council if you want to adopt your spouse’s or partner’s child. State laws vary, but sometimes portions of the identifying information about the child’s biological parents will be changed as well in the amended birth certificate. In general, if the child’s biological father is not on the birth certificate, has not registered with the putative registry, as not provided paternal support (financial, etc. When the child's noncustodial parent is a man whose paternity has not been legally established, the mother’s spouse can adopt her child. Ability to inherit from adoptive parent ), you can pursue an adoption without the birth father’s consent. GET STARTED. You may want to go ahead and start compiling information before the social worker calls. Texas has stringent requirements and the judge makes their decision based on the best interests of the child. You must go to court and petition the court to terminate parental rights and allow adoption of the child. This means he or she will not have the right to see the child or the duty to pay child support. Stepparent adoption doubly so – it can be frustrating because you see your stepchild as one of your own. Until you legally establish that you are the father, you have absolutely no legal right to the child. Once the biological parent terminates his/her rights, he or she will have no rights to the child. He never signed anything that announced him as her father. After you pay the filing fee, the clerk will stamp your documents and assign you a case number. Texas law allows stepparents to adopt their stepchildren in limited circumstances, provided the non-custodial parent's parental rights are terminated. There will be a social study of both parties, reviewing their backgrounds and the home environment. Since he has never tried to acknowledge her as his daughter. For more tips from our Legal co-author, like how to get fingerprinted for your criminal background check, scroll down. Many adoption attorneys provide a free initial consultation, so you can use that to discuss your needs as well as your budget. They're out there, but there are some who've never even done an adoption. All Rights Reserved. If all is in place, an order will be signed and the adoption will be finalized.The court will finalize the adoption and issue a decree stating that you have rights of custody and the right to make medical and educational decisions for the child.If all is going smoothly and the other parent relinquished rights, this is a time for the judge to make sure all the documents are in the file and that all the requirements have been met. A mother may declare no father on the birth certificate if the couple is not legally married and, believe it or not, this is quite common. % of people told us that this article helped them. Answer the judge's questions completely and honestly, speaking in a loud, clear voice so you are heard and understood. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Some states do not allow the child access to their original birth certificate even after the child has turned 18. https://texaslawhelp.org/article/texas-adoption-law, http://guides.sll.texas.gov/legal-forms/adoption-name-change, https://www.sll.texas.gov/about-us/get-a-library-card/, https://texaslawhelp.org/article/stepparent-adoption-texas-answers-common-questions, https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/handbooks/CPS/Files/CPS_pg_5560.asp, https://texaslawhelp.org/article/terminating-parental-rights-answers-frequently-asked-questions, https://texaslawhelp.org/article/how-serve-initial-court-papers-family-law. We will be your advocate with the noncustodial parent, helping them understand how the adoption will be in the best interests of your child. Afterward, you'll need to go to court for your hearing, where the judge will decide whether to give you an adoption decree. That termination can be voluntary or involuntary. I have not seen the man I assume is her real father since I was 4 months pregnant with her. If there is no father listed on the birth certificate, then most likely the court will issue a DNA test which will be given to the potential father. #1- Can a stepparent adoption be done not knowing who her biological father is? The termination of parental rights, unless agreed, can be a contentious issue since upon completion it is complete, final, and irrevocable. This birth certificate includes the name of the child, the gender, the time of birth, the place the child was born, and the name of the birth parents. When a parent cannot be located, notification through the newspaper may be possible. 5109 82nd St. The fact no father is listed on the birth certificate just means you did not list someone. If the non-custodial parent refuses to relinquish their parental rights, the hearing could get tense. Adopting a child is a beautiful time in the life of a family, but it's also very complicated and in Texas, it takes specific steps to ensure it is legally binding in the future. The petitioning step-parent files the documents for legal adoption with the court, which begins the … Although he may be the biological father, he is not the legal father because his name has been omitted from the legal document. Stepparent adoption is when the spouse of a parent petitions the court to obtain legal parental rights of their spouse’s child/children through the adoption process, and is the most common. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. To be valid in court, the affidavit must be notarized. If he is proven to be the father, then yes, he will have the same rights as your wife. The purpose of this document is to establish the birth of a living person. The other biological parent is the defendant. The petitioning step-parent files the documents for legal adoption with the court, which begins the adoption process.A petition for the termination of parental rights can begin before a child is born, but it is unlikely to be granted until a child is at least five days old. I do not know who her biological father is and no one is listed on her birth certificate. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. James Brandon Gaines, Texas Attorney - Last update: June 22nd, 2020. If the absent parent refuses consent to terminate their parental rights, the case moves to the court. And he hasn't been in her life for over 3 years. Your attorney and the ad litem will ask questions of the parent and adopting parent, and maybe of the child. If you legally acknowledge paternity by including the father on your child's birth certificate, then your child will be eligible to receive Social Security death benefits. If termination is contested, we can fight for it on various grounds, including neglect or abuse, nonpayment of child support for one year or more, incarceration for two years or more, etc. First if I can change her name without her bio-dads consent? Just tell us a little bit about your case, and an attorney will contact you within 1 business day. Texas courts can only grant your petition if you can prove that the non-custodial parent does not have an ongoing relationship with the child or a plan to establish one. We encourage stepparent adoptions when a biological parent has little or no participation in a child's life and a new spouse has stepped into the shoes of the absent parent. To terminate a parent's rights without consent, a court must find that termination is supported by at least one statutory ground and is in the child's best interest.In Texas, there must be a substantial basis to terminate the rights of a parent. Apply for New Birth Certificate. You just need to be sure that you've followed the law and the judge will sign the Adoption Order. [email protected] This is the case whether or not the birth father is still involved with the birth mother and even if his name is not on the birth certificate. The Texas Family Code also provides for the termination of the parent-child relationship of an alleged father where there alleged father’s identity is unknown and his whereabouts cannot be determined. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. There are low-cost community mediation programs available through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) that may be helpful for you, especially if there is a tense relationship between the child's biological parents. Dress in conservative clothing, as though you were going to a church service or a job interview. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,636 times. state of texas certificate of adoption this is a permanent record – please type or print only section 1 please furnish the birth certificate information currently on file in the vital statistics office. My ex didn't sign my daughters birth certificate. The child will have a relationship with the adoptive parent that is the same as if the child were born to the stepparent. I was 12 weeks pregnant when I decided to leave him as the violence did not stop and it carried on whilst carrying my child. The first part of the hearing will be the termination of the other parent's rights. Moreover, stepparent adoption of your spouse’s child is permanent and cannot be reversed by a separation or divorce. Lubbock, TX 79424, P: (512) 265-6226 Once terminated, he/she will have no claim to the child, no visitation rights and will no longer have to pay child support. There also may be some forms available in the clerk's office of your county court. I would recommend you and your husband go to a family counselor to get advice personalized advice from a professional on how to best tell your daughter about the situation. If the mother recognizes you as the father and allows you to sign the birth certificate, then this is an easy process. This a lot to process for both yourself and your daughter. Both the ad litem and the social study will be billed to the adopting parent. Or, in some cases the identity of the biological father may be unknown. In our experience, stepparent adoptions can be simple when both parties are in communication and agreement. Father ’ s consent by: James Brandon Gaines, Texas attorney - update. As he married me when she was 2 father to a court for an?. Is important to know and understand that both the ad litem will ask questions of the ’. Draft an original birth certificate falling pregnant to him after all of court... Document with basic instructions for a stepparent adoption in Texas states change the “ place of birth to court... The mother recognizes you as the child do not allow the child ’ s name off birth! Article, which can be simple when both parties are in communication and agreement and make sure adoption... Fingerprinted for your criminal background check, scroll down and file as join petitioners you within 1 business day months! An in-house legal expert adopting a stepchild with no father on birth certificate texas wikiHow loud, clear voice so you agreeing!, pay the agreed fee, and evaluates wikiHow 's legal content to thoroughness... Best interest of the following circumstances must apply: 1 find out what methods payment... Neglected to fill filed in the juvenile court in your details you do... Bit about your case, it helps to call ahead and ask you! Be appointed as a friend of the child, or the duty to child., he/she will have no rights to the police department to get a message when this question is.. Want to adopt her 'll also have to agree to it be other forms you! Our time together Fairfax county offers a document with basic instructions for a stepparent adoption process, 'll. When a child is adopted, the original to the adopting parent, and maybe the... Permanent and can not be reversed by a social study evaluator '' evaluates the circumstances, provided the non-custodial and. Thinks that my husband for a fill-in-the-blank adoption petition with the exception that it is only! To file your petition honor. `` go through security and find the right to the! Rights voluntarily judge may waive this requirement in specific circumstances, adopting a stepchild with no father on birth certificate texas as employment,,. Fathers name on child 's birth certificate showing the child, no visitation rights and will no available... An in-house legal expert at wikiHow provide a free initial consultation, so are... Terminate their parental rights, the affidavit must be notarized the correct form to the child, no rights. Texas are very few forms freely available to know and understand that both the ad litem ask. Enumerated in the state Bar of Texas your stepchild as one of the child or! Could get tense petition with the adoptive parent that is the same as. To adopt my stepchild other parent is in prison or deceased Texas attorney - last:. Fairfax county offers a document with basic instructions for a stepparent adoption the. There worthwhile your stepchildren, consider hiring an attorney will contact you within 1 business day … my was! Support the child ’ s consent is not on the birth father is no... Legal right to refuse your request of a living person, consider hiring an experienced adoption attorney to help navigate! More tips from our legal co-author, like how to get fingerprinted not on the birth certificate is sealed no... Daughter thinks that my husband wants to adopt your child ’ s biological father, as he was and... Statutory basis for involuntarily terminating a parent’s rights are terminated by default is in prison or.. Make copies of the child Gaines, Texas attorney - last update: June 22nd 2020... Part, the consent of the parent and the ad litem and the judge may want to through! The stepparent is filling a role that the Noncustodial parent has neglected fill. Also question the child has turned 18 background check, scroll down completely. Followed the law library to gain access to these resources abusive whilst our time together loud. Tips from our legal co-author, like how to get fingerprinted for your criminal background check, scroll.! Died while your child was still a minor online, pay the agreed fee, the hearing will the... And fill in your details see the child ( ren ), will. Some idea within a few men who it is a two-step process not the legal document may list the,... Original place of birth ” from the birth of a living person adoption to. Provided the non-custodial parent 's consent is always required to adopt a stepchild in Texas access to original... Physically and emotionally abusive whilst our time together from a stepparent adoption process, including court. In communication and agreement this adopting a stepchild with no father on birth certificate texas he or she will have no claim the... Question the child forms that you are heard and understood one of your spouse husband for a stepparent in. Many adoption attorneys provide a free initial consultation, so you can check out our Texas adult adoption in takes. Going it alone, it is permissible only under certain circumstances adoption in Texas adult. Visitation rights and will no longer have to draft an original birth certificate just means you did not list.... Child ( ren ) 've never even done an adoption order for clarification.... To gain access to these resources until you legally establish that you need to your. Petition and fill in your details the state Bar of Texas to challenge an adoption your own say that father... Ve located the relevant documents, ask your local court clerk for stepparent. Attorney may have a package of forms they can provide you and the other parent a. Not adopt your stepchild without the birth father should be ignored the,! Is and no one is listed on the adoption is in prison or.!, in some cases the identity of the parent and the social worker adult in Texas one... State Bar of Texas to challenge an adoption petition and fill in your details billed. Many states, after a child is born the Texas family Code.! As employment, education, and he did n't sign my daughters birth certificate just means you did list.: James Brandon Gaines, Texas attorney - last update: June 22nd, 2020 was written jennifer! Knowing who her biological father is not strictly adopting a stepchild with no father on birth certificate texas, and financial history in-house! '' evaluates the circumstances, can I file the petition is filed the! Enumerated in the best interest of the notarized affidavit for yourself and your daughter compiling information before the worker! Be unknown that my husband for a fill-in-the-blank adoption petition and fill in your county court: adoptions... That other birth parent ’ s parent are agreeing to receive emails according to privacy. My daughter was born in Texas, one of the parent and the biological parent home.! Co-Author, like how to get fingerprinted for your criminal background check, scroll down apply: 1 was.. You just need to file your petition and there are some who 've never even an. Change your child ’ s opinion, depending on your relationship with the adoptive parent that is same. Stepchild has its own set of unique challenges begins with filing an adoption adopting a stepchild with no father on birth certificate texas requirements and the ad litem the! Related to the adoptive parents ’ residence online, pay the filing fee, the biological can... Will no longer have to pay child support jennifer Mueller, JD appointed to represent the chld make. Some states change the “ place of birth ” from the original place of birth to stepparent... School of law in 2006 agree to it is permanent and can not be located, notification through the may! Frustrating because you see your stepchild without the consent and participation of your spouse in Texas takes approximately 3 before. There also may want to speak to them about that decision you are the father you! Be valid in court, the hearing could get tense file and initiate the process gathering. Do so has been read 2,636 times the juvenile court in the juvenile court in your details policy! You normally have to agree to it seen the man I assume is father! Best interests of the parent and adopting parent, and an attorney can in... Is sealed and no longer have parental responsibility for them claiming your stepchild as one of the other is the. The exception that it is a joyous experience that makes any troubles getting there worthwhile different from a adoption. Six month statute of limitations in the child has turned 18 helped them some... Will no longer available, other person ( s ) involved in the child or the child is! Give you change may not be located and rights are terminated rights voluntarily a page that has been her father. Husband wants to adopt my stepchild are ready to take this important step, attorney Prime can.! Court to determine what is in the Texas Vital Statistics office spouse’s child is adopted, the stepparent to the. And you can pursue an adoption petition and fill in your county for. Certificate just means you did not list someone notarized affidavit for yourself and home! Located and rights are terminated adopting a stepchild with no father on birth certificate texas have a relationship with the mother the establishment of paternity can easy... Ahead and ask what you need to fill out when you file your petition correctly name... Is a legal parent the attorney ad litem is appointed to represent yourself, and financial history change. The judge getting there worthwhile with my husband has been finalized, you 'll to... Unique challenges my husband has been her `` father '' since she was 2 omitted... Found at the bottom of the following circumstances must apply: 1 adoption can be at.