Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

My Photo


Top 100 Family Law Blogs

All Top Family Law Blogs

Top Family Law Blogs

Justia Family Law Blawgs


Main | Military Families and Access to Courts »



I have twin boys and the bio dad has not been in there life for awhile, last time I knew he was over 5,000 behind in child support, back in Jan. we wanted husband to adopt them he rarely calls and when he does it's just for a text message he will say "how are the boys treating you" it's clear he doesn't actually care about them. He lost his rights back in August of 2008 for failure to do drug classes. What are my rights in this situation?

Jeanne M Hannah

Alyssa, yes, your son's father can still give his consent to the step-parent adoption. However, many judges want to see some permanency to the new marriage -- often as many as 2 years. Why don't you call me this week and give me more details and I'll see what I can find out about the policies in your county? 231-275-5600


I am recently married and my husband wants to adopt my 3 years old son. Prior to being married, I had to be on state assistance and still am currently. My bio sons father has just given permission and is going to sign off his rights so my husband can adopt my son. Being that I am still currently on state assistance, can he sign off his rights so my husband can adopt?



My husband was granted temporary custody of his son last April pending the outcome of a custodial investigation. During that time, my step son's mother only saw him twice. My husband was granted formal custody in August, with the mother granted supervised visitation until she passed a drug test, which she hasn't yet taken. It has now been 6 months since she has seen him or called him, and we have not received any child support at all for the entire time that my husband has had him. By reading the other posts, I see that we have to wait 2 years (I'm assuming from the formal custody order, not the temporary custody order) before I can file to adopt my step son, but I am wondering if there is anything I can do in the meantime to assist in taking care of him. Because of work schedules, etc., and a court order that the bio mother can't see him without his dad around, I am usually the one to take him to doctor's appointments, dentists appointments, dealing with his school, even enrolling him in Kindergarten next year. We haven't had any problems so far because no one questions a woman with the same last name as a 4 year old, but I am worried that I may have a problem in the future since I don't really have the right to sign for medical treatment or make any decisions regarding his education. In reality, my husband and I make the choices together and I'm very much the only mother this little boy has known for the past year, but I do understand that legally I have no rights to him. Is there anything my husband can do without the bio mother's consent to give me the right legally to sign for some of this stuff?

Jeanne M Hannah

JMP, you raise some pretty complicated and important legal questions. I assume that you are paying child support for a child who was adopted by you only because of a fraud committed by your ex-wife. If your marriage was based upon a fraud (as it surely was), you could have sought an annulment. If the adoption is set aside as based upon fraud, (it appears she was really just looking for a "support father"), then you would not have years and years of child support payments.

You need a competent attorney. Feel free to email me [go to my website, link is in upper left corner -- I don't like to have my email address here because it encourages junk mail]. I can give you a referral to an attorney in your geographic area.


I adopted my ex-wife's son. She told the adoption atty that she did not know where the child's father was. Eight months after the adoption was final she filed for divorce from me. I found a court order from a Fla judge ordering her to have a DNA test for the boy. She was receiving welfare from the state of TN. She was trying to get child support from the father in FL. HE agreed to pay child support only if a DNA proved the boys was his. She dismissed the case. We were married two months after the case was dropped. Looking at the dates of the court papers and our marriage she was about to be discovered that she was lying about the father. Should she not have disclosed the father's location to the adoption atty? Is this adoption legal? Is she not quilty of perjury? Our whole marriage and adoption of the child was based on lies.


I have a question that seems to be the same as everyone elses:) I have an almost 5 year old daughter. Her biological father is not in the picture, in fact he lives in another state and has seen her 4 times since she was three months old...she doesnt even really know who he is. He does come around christmas time every year and she sees him and his family but if she didnt for example see him this Christmas she wouldnt know the difference. He has paid a total of $500 or so in child support and owes thousands, the last time i got my $25 MONTHLY payment was over a year ago. Also, he has numerous warrants for failure to pay child support (for my daughter and one other child of his by another mother) and some other warrants for other things. NOT A GOOD GUY. On the other hand I have been with my wonderful boyfriend for over three years. He is the man my daughter considers daddy and she has never know anyone else as daddy but him. He came into our lives when she was a year and a half and was daddy by the time she was two. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and her and I can't imagine any other father for our daughter. My questions is, can my duaghters biological fathers rights be terminated for neglect to make contact, have a relationship, or pay child support? and if they are can my boyfriend adopt her? We so much want it to be official and get this scum bag out of our lives and ominously out of the background for good. Please help me, as the years go by we get scared that her biological father might realize what he is missing and try to come back in her life for good and we do not want this at all as he was very abusive when i was with him, mentally and physically, and we dont want him to hurt our daughter...any advice you can give would be awesome please...thanks:)

Linda W

I suppose my situation is a little premature, but different from all the other posts thus far. My divorce was recently finalized and although it is quick, I am currently engaged. I have known this man my entire life and I was dating him prior to meeting my ex-husband. He would like to adopt my children as soon as possible. I have read through your other posts regarding the 2 yr ideal period of marriage. My situation is a bit more complex and it is because of these reasons: my ex-husband is involved in the kids lives, though he pays no child support, even despite it being ordered at a mere $312 per month for 3 children. Furthermore, he has been demonstrating, from my perspective, behavior that is not in the best interest of our children. You see our daughter was abused by his nephew and I just found out that he has allowed my children to be around this nephew and other relatives directly related to this nephew. This was something he and I agreed would never happen. He is getting remarried and his soon to be wife informed him that I was over reacting, despite this, my primary concern is the welfare of my children. I am seeking to have a motion filed (though not sure how this would work post divorce) to not have my children allowed to be around certain individuals. Another factor is that he lives in a two bdrm condo (I have two boys and a girl) and will not set up beds for my children, despite my providing them to him. I apologize if this sounds strange the way I am describing it, but I guess what I am getting at is not only is he failing to protect but he is not providing for them in the manner that I think is appropriate. Would this help our case when my soon to be husband wishes to petition for adoption? Do you have any advice for us in this area? Not sure if this matters, but I live in Macomb County. Any input would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

John Van Stickle

I have been raising my now wife of 2 months son for 6 years now. I just married her and it is a disaster. A big mistake!! Do I have any rights to her son who knows me as daddy?? I have been supporting and raising him since 8 months old!!! I love him to death but it is just not working with us!! She will not allow me visitation rights if I divorce her. Please tell me I have rights to him!!!! He is my son in my heart!!

Jeanne M Hannah

Lisa, a Michigan appellate court held in 2002 that a few tax intercepts and 7 payments in the past year did not amount to "regular and substantial" payment of child support. Factually, though, that case is different from yours because the father owed over $19,000 in arrearages. See In the matter of SME

There is another way around this. You might arrange for a telephone consultation so that we can talk about it. Jeanne


How do you determine if a judge will define regular and substantial support for a child. My ex hasn't seen the child for 3 years but they take his tax refunds, threw him in jail until he paid up and one of his jobs sends some support every month or so. So he is only 2 months behind paying but he has never paid willingly.

Nicole Reed

My husband has a 5 1/2 year old son, and the biological mother only sees him maybe once every 2 months. She also owes over $10,000 in back child support. She is continuously letting her partying and such get in the way of seeing her son. There is currently a court order for her to have him every other weekend. My husband and I have been together for 4 years, living together for 3 1/2 and now married for alittle over 6 months. My step son has called me mom for two years now, his reasoning being, since I do all the "real mommy stuff" I am so worried that if something were to happen to my husband I would have no legal rights to my step son, who I love as if he were my own. We found out that we need to be married a year before I could adopt. But this is getting rediculous. My step son wanted to talk to her on the phone the other day to tell her how he felt about her not coming to see him. He ranted for a while, and when my husband got the phone, she said "well, I've messed up enough that he hates my now. If he doesn't want to see me, then I won't. Maybe we should look into filing some papers to take care of this" So she wants to sign over her parental rights. I just want to know if we can do this, even though we haven't been married a full year yet. What if she backs out of this? Could we still go through with it? Her family backs my husband and I up on everything and will testify against her in court if they need to.

Jeanne M Hannah

It is not difficult to change the children's names. Take a look at the Calhoun County website. There is good information there about how to do this yourself.

Best of luck, Jeanne M Hannah

Valarie Juntunen

I have two kids from a previous marriage. I divorced their biological father 11 years ago and they have never had any contact from him. 6 years ago he died. My kids have used their step-father's last name for the last 9 years. Now, we're changing school districts and they won't use the family's last name, they insist we use the "legal" last name on the birth certificates.

Now, looking at adoption laws in Michigan is giving me a headache. If I understand it correctly, I'll likely need a lawyer and it will cost me a minimum of $500, per a child, in fees. Additionally, my children do receive death benefits from Social Security and I'm unsure whether an adoption will deprive them of the only thing their biological father ever left them with.

So, my question is can we just do a legal name change? Which appears to be much more straight forward and cheaper to boot? There's no issue with parental rights as the biological father is dead and the step-father has already added the kids to his will/insurance/etc.

Any information is appreciated!

Jeanne M Hannah

Most judges will not sign an order for adoption unless convinced that the couple adopting has a stable marriage. Thus, filing an application a month or two after your wedding really isn't a good idea. I believe that many judges understand that couples today often live together for a period of time prior to marriage and would "count" that period as part of a "long-term relationship."

The bio-dad has to establish parenthood in order to give it up. But there is a procedure within the adoption application court process for identifying the father and terminating this rights. The key is the 2 years of no substantial support and 2 years of no substantial parent-child relationship. I recommend that you wait until your daughter's 2nd birthday to begin the step-parent adoption.



The bio dad of my 1 year old daughter refuses to submit a paternity test but has agreed verbally he will consent to my fiance adopting her. Do we have to wait until she is 2 to move forward with the adoption? Can the bio dad consent to the adoption without submitting a paternity test? The bio dad has had no contact nor made an attempt to make contact and of course hasn't supported my daughter financially at all either. I will be getting married within a couple weeks and we would like to move forward with the adoption ASAP.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Jeanne M Hannah

Ben, please contact me privately about the specific facts of this proposed adoption. My contact information is:

Jeanne M. Hannah
Attorney at Law
5922 Deer Trail Drive
Traverse City, MI 49684
Tel 231-275-5600
Fax 231-275-5602


My wife, step son, and I reside in Midland County. My wife and I married August 23, 2008 and plan to file for step parent adoption this coming August (2009). My step son is 6, and has not seen his bio father since he was 8 months old. He was ordered to pay child support, which he did randomly if he was employed. He never established parenting time. Approximately 2 years ago he stated to my wife "If I'm paying child support, I want to see the kid", however never filed for parenting time or visits of any kind. My wife chose to terminate child support then. At that time he was approximately $2500 behind in child support. Since that time, there has been no contact at all. My wife attempted to contact him to inform him of our plan for step parent adoption, but his parent's phone number has been changed and we are unable to contact him at this time. We plan to do an internet search for him, and if an address is found, send a certified letter to him in this regard. What would we need in order to proceed with a step parent adoption? We were told we should provide public notice via newspaper as well as a means to contact him. When should we do this, and what information should this method contain?

With all this said, is there grounds for termination of parental rights in this circumstance if he does not consent?



Hello. My daughter will be 3 in a few months. During my pregnancy, my ex made repeated threats against my life because I refused to get an abortion. The threats stopped after I had a ppo against him when my daughter was two weeks old.

The judge told my ex to file for his parental rights, which he never did. My ex is not on the birth certificate. He has not been involved in my daughters life and has not paid one cent in support.

There is not an order of child support. He did contact the child support office to start payments and I was contacted. I told them about the ppo and the mutliple threats and that I don't want this to be pursued.

I will be getting married to a wonderful man in a year. My daughter loves him and he adores her. We plan to start the adoption process, but I am scared out of my mind that my ex will not only fight against the adoption, but try to get visitation rights.

Would the state give him any rights? Will the state allow him to take my daughter? My daughter has no idea who he is. It would be traumatic and potentially life threatening for the both of us!

Jeanne M Hannah

Carrie, most states have adopted the Uniform Adoption Code, so the laws are fairly similar in most states. In any case, adoptions must occur in the county and state where the child is "found" (residing). Thus, you would not file in either your state of legal residency or your husband's.



Hi, I have a question, my soon to be husband is in the military, his home state is Michigan, mine is Ohio.. We are looking into him adopting my 2 boys, I have the consent from the fathers, does he file in Michigan because that is his residency or would we do it in Ohio? I know the laws are different in every state... thanks!


How does a mom "show proof" or "have evidence" that the bio-dad has had no "regular and substantial parent-child contact" within the 2 years prior to filing the adoption petition AND has paid no "regular or substantial support"??

Nicole Saintcharles

Im getting married next month. My fiance and I have been together for 2 years. My son is 3yrs old. The bio father lives in Co. I have recieved his income tax return the past 2 years due to the fact his is behind and dosnt wanna pay child support. My fiance wants to adopt my son. I think the bio father would agree to giving up his rights. He hasnt seen my son a 1 1/2 years. He has no plans to visit him and he hasnt even so much as called since than. Can my fiance adopt him after were married and how do I go about getting the bio fathers consent to waiver his rights?

Jenn VanAntwerpen

I would like to know information on step-parent adoption and how it works when one of the parents are deceased. My ex-husband was killed in an accident almost a year ago and I have since remarried. I have two children and my husband would like to adopt them. My children are 5 and 7. It bothers my 7 yr old that she doesn't have our last name. We would just like to make our family whole.

Jeanne M Hannah

Hello Ella,

I would like to talk to you about a step-parent adoption. What you describe is a perfect example of why parents would want one.

Can you please give me a call tomorrow to talk about this?



My husband and I were married last July after being in a relationship for about 2 years. At the time we were living in Massachusetts, but we moved to Michigan in August because I found a better job and my parents offered to help us buy a house. My husband has three children (almost 3, almost 4 and almost 5) with another woman. The children were removed by the state due to neglect- mostly on the part of their biomom (she has a history of mental health problems) - when the youngest was about 3 months old 7/06. They were in foster care for over a year. My husband worked with social services in Massachusetts to correct the things he needed to (mostly establishing a home away from biomom that was big enough for 3 kids) and the state reunified all three kids with Dad and me and helped him get sole custody of the kids in 5/08. At that time, he was also grated permission to move out of state (biomom had already moved to a neighboring state because she was pregnant and did not want the state to know about the new baby), she receives only limited supervised visits, and no child support was ordered (we figured it wasn't worth it because she had no job at the time and would need money to drive out here to visit the kids). At that time she was canceling a lot of visits and saying inappropriate things to them on the phone. Since we moved, she has sent them packages on major holidays and called every week or two. Part of the visitation stated she had to attend counseling or parenting classes- she has not. We took the kids to Massachusetts and set up 4 short supervised visits with 3rd parties, they did not go the best- for example, the youngest had a wetting at Chuck E Cheese and had cold damp pants when we got there. She let the kids push her new month old baby around in an umbrella stroller and run into things. She tells the kids she will visit, but then does not. She collected SSI for the middle child for a year and a half while he was in foster care, we have had reports that she was using drugs and drinking while pregnant with her new baby, and reports she was using my husband's kids SS#s to open accounts for phones. And we just tried to file taxes and were rejected because the oldest's SS# had been used in another return (we are assuming her). And she continues to do questionable things with her new baby. My husband would like me to adopt the kids, I would like it, and I have been providing sole financial support, and been caregiver along with my husband for the last year and a half or more. We haven't met the time lines for lack of support (we will be filing for it) and she has sporadic contact with the kids. Can we use her history and current dealings other than that to have her rights terminated so that I can adopt as a step-parent?

rodnee garrison

I was wondering.... My daughter was born in flint, Mi in 2006. She turned 3 in Jan. No father was listed on birth certificate. I moved back to illinois after my daughter was born. I had one ex boyfriend tested and he is not the father. I am unsuccessful at finding other person all I know is his full name. No birth date or anything. I had a second child in oct of 2008 the father is in the picture and we will be married by then end of the year. He signed the vol. paternity acknowledgment at the hospital. He has been the only father she has ever known. He wants to adopt her when we get married. How do we go about this with no way of contacting the "assumed" father. and do we need to file in Michigan or can we do this in Illinois?
Thanks soo much!


My sons have not had any contact that was initiated by thier bio father since 2005. The last contact they had with him was christmas 2006 and that was because he was over at his parents house. He did send them, christmas gifts that year. That was the only the second year that the youngest now 6 got anything from him. He makes no contact with either one of my boys. He has not paid child support since June 2007. In June 2009 we are planning on doing a stepparent adoption. By then my husband and I will have been married for 2 years. Is that going to be long enough? What complecation can arise from this? I know when my ex hears about the adoption he will try to stop it but he won't show up for any court dates, that is what happened with the divorce. The last contact we had with him I lived at my parents house and he had all that information. Since then I have moved, about 7 miles away from my parents house but I don't have any information on where he is at. He has never tried to contact the boys at my parents house. Is that going to be an issue since he doesn't have the current information?

Jeanne M Hannah


See the comment immediately above yours for my response about how long you should be married before the court will grant a step-parent adoption.

The basic rule for terminating a biological father's parental rights is that the court cannot do it unless both of the following are true:

1) The father did not provide regular and substantial support for the mother during the pregnancy or did not provide regular and substantial support for the child for at least 2 years prior to being served with the petition for adoption AND

2) The father had no regular and substantial parent-child relationship with the child for at least 2 years prior to being served with the petition for adoption.

The factors do not favor your position. You might obtain a step-parent adoption, if you are married, and if the biological father signs a consent. Many fathers will do that to avoid a support obligation.

Jeanne M. Hannah


My son is 5 weeks old and his biological father has not contacted me since I was 3 months pregnant. I have asked him prior to my son's birth if he would sign off on custody of our son. He is not listed on the birth certificate. The father's mother has contaced me and seen my son and recently made a comment about the father taking me to court for joint custody. This would be harmful to my child however, because his father is a drug addict. I am now engaged and the man I am marrying would like to adopt my son. Is there a way to go about this so that the biological father does not have to be involved? Also is there a law regarding how long we need to be married before he can adopt and that we actually have to be married before we can begin processing the adoption?

Jeanne M Hannah


In what county do you live? I don't think there is any hard and fast "rule" about how long people have to be married to convince the court that it's a stable relationship. Generally, however, family lawyers have always thought the guideline was 1 or 2 years depending upon the judge's known preference. Certain judges might "give you credit" for stability in a long-term cohabitation relationship that ended up in marriage. I could better answer your question if I knew which county you live in.

In terms of the adoption itself, it certainly sounds as though you've got what it takes: 2 years of no regular and substantial parent-child contact and 2 years of no regular and substantial support.

My concern would be that I'd want to know the "lay of the land" before filing -- in other words, I'd want to know how the judge in your county usually rules on length of marriage. Why don't you email me with the county, and I will check it out for you.

Jeanne M. Hannah



I looking to adopt my wifes 5yr old daughter, we just got married in September. In the 4yrs we've been together the biological father has made no attempts to see or contact the child or even give any form of support. I've been the provider for her, the child only knows me as her father. The only thing he has done is pay for her health insurance premium, which we found out all contact info is in my wifes name they just draft his bank account. I've paid all the medical bills, since everything comes to us. My wife is fearful that he might try and oppose us in some way, we don't want him to have anything to do with our daughter.

Jeanne M Hannah

Hello David,

Of all the family law cases I deal with, the saddest ones are those like yours where there is an alienation by one parent.

But here's where reality sets in. You've given your consent. The stipulation that you'd be given updates is and was unenforceable. Likely your ex-wife knew that and perhaps you were unrepresented and did not know that.

I encourage you to seek out adoption registries in states where you think that your son might eventually look for you -- because it's a virtual certainty that he will look for you after he is 18. You can contact states where you think he may look for you and those states will likely have a registry that will take your contact information (be sure to update it if you later move). If your son then contacts them, he will receive your contact information.

Here's a Google search that might help. Plug in the name of a state or state that you think might be relevant.

Best wishes to you, Jeanne M Hannah


My ex-wife would not allow me to see me son after he was born. He's now 10. She denied visits and most phone calls...I had to be know as David..a friend. I was in the military and received orders to be stationed on the opposite coast. She remarried another soldier and also moved around due to orders. When I was in a financial position to try to enforce my right as my sons dad, an attorney in the state in which they lived advised that in doing so, my child support was going to quadruple due to the state they lived in ??? I was now remarried with a child and we could not afford this in addiiton to travel. Even if i won a case. I finally gave consent for a sepparent adoption but under the stipulation that I'd receieve updates yearly etc. None of this happened, of course. I had no counsel during this time. I recently found out we are now a short drive from each other. I was misled and don't know of there is anything I can do about it :(. I always wanted a relationship with my son..I don't even know if he knows I am alive.

Jeanne M Hannah

Sadly, because his child support payments have been made, it appears, on a more or less regular basis within the past two years, the Adoption Code would not permit termination of his parental rights without his consent.

I suggest that you file a motion to modify support. If you can get it raised, then perhaps he would become more willing to give his consent, particularly since he doesn't get any parenting time.



I am the step-father of a 5 1/2 yr old girl in Grand Rapids, MI. I have been the only father in her life since 2 years old and the bio father had 6 1-hour supervised visits almost 2 years ago. Before that time he had not seen her in over a year. He was unwilling to agree to a drug test at the court house so the Judge awarded him no visitation rights. (The state had filed on his behalf because of child support my wife filed before we met).

We have been married over 2 years now and my daughter vaguely remembers the visits. The man physically abused my wife when they were together and has repeatedly threatened harm to both of us whenever we have seen him.

My question is:

I want to adopt but can I? 2 years ago we asked for his consent through our lawyer and his reaction was very negative. Since then he has had no contact because he never complied w/ the drug testing. Child support has been garnished whenever he had a job. We have also received the intercepted tax returns.

We never asked for any increases in support (currently less than $80/wk) and support has not been constant. Currently he is $2,000 in arrears and apparently jobless because we have not received payments in 3 months. Up until this time though we received payments for almost a year sadly.

Is there any chance the court would see our case favorably?

2 years ago he definitely would not do it out of spite. It's been quiet now outside of the court documents regarding OTSC hearings.

Would it at least be possible to change her last name without consent? My wife was never married to him but she gave our daughter his last name and he is on the birth certificate.

Thank You

Jeanne M Hannah

Hello Don,

Yes, the court will allow you to give your consent. It must be done in front of a judge. If you don't live in the county where the adoption will take place (the county where your son lives), the judge there can arrange for a judge in your county to take your consent. The hearing takes about 15-20 minutes and you have a 21-day period during which you may withdraw your consent. Jeanne


My son is three. His mother and new husband wish to adopt him. After a long hard thought process I have agreed. Even though I have been paying support, I have not seen my son in a year. Will the courts still allow me to consent to this adoption?

Jeanne M Hannah

Hello David,

The first question is "Does the step-father wish to adopt?" If yes, then let them know that you are will to consent to the adoption.

The adoption will terminate your financial obligations to your child.

If the answer is "No," step-dad doesn't want to adopt, then I suggest this. Depending upon what court system and/or state you are in, the court will help you enforce the parenting time order.

We do not allow children to decide that they will not see the noncustodial parent. Where I practice, judges have thrown mothers in jail for not forcing the children to go to parenting time with the other parent. You need to start filing motions that your ex-spouse shall appear and show cause why the parenting time is not occurring. It is her obligation to see that it occurs.

Jeanne M. Hannh


My daughter is almost 15 and has stated to me that she no longer wants contact with me or our family. I have always provided child support, health care, and a loving home to come too. I have not seen my daughter in a year not by my choice but hers. If I wanted to terminate my parental rights and let my ex wifes husband adopt her how do we do this? Thank you.

Jeanne M Hannah

Hello Richard,

Since your ex-wife's parental rights have been terminated, she will not have the right to object to a step-parent adoption. Be sure to give the court a copy of the termination order. The child support will stop once the adoption is final.



my daughter is almost two years old we and live in lansing. Her mother has had her rights terminated due to abuse and neglect. she does pay child support however she has no legal right to contact my daughter. my wife is going to adopt my daughter which is where my question comes in. I would like to know if the bio mom has any right to contest the step parent adoption. Also I would like to know if a name change would be included in the adoption or if it would have to be a separate hearing.

Thank you,


Thank you ;)

Jeanne M Hannah

Tami, to answer both of your questions above:

1) His rights can be terminated without his consent because of the lack of contact and the lack of support. However, the Court does require notice to him.

It has been my experience that many Moms in your situation are fearful about having that notice set out . . . fearful that the father might actually show up at the hearing. However, I have never had a dad show up. The hearing usually goes smoothly.

If you don't know his whereabouts, then you cannot give notice.

2) Yes, an 18 year old can be adopted. You might prefer to wait that 4 or 5 years.

Best to you. Jeanne


And in the event that contact is necessary - would this change if we were to wait until she is 18, or is it not an option to adopt an 18 year old?


Thank you for your reply.

He has never paid any support. His last attempt at contact was within her first year of life... HE is extremely unstable, former policeman who has many "corrupt" issues and was asked to resign rather than be prosecuted. Not a good person to have to face again.

Jeanne M Hannah


An important fact is missing from your historical summary. Has this man been paying child support? If he has not paid support in the past 2 years, then his consent to the adoption is not required.

However, he would be entitled to notice. These would be formal court documents that would be mailed to him. He would also receive a paper that he could sign before a judge in his area to give his consent to avoid any hearing. Or if he failed to show at the hearing, his rights would be terminated without his consent.

Please contact me to fill in the details. Jeanne


My daughter is 16 years old. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. He is not the biological father. At 7 years we consulted adoption attorneys, who after hearing about the problems the bio father caused in the past, recommended not seeking adoption for concerns he would re-surface.

She is now approaching adult hood, and I know that we would all be more at peace having my husband offically listed on her birth certificate.Is it true that the courts will contact bio father?

1. He hasn't attempted to see her since her birth
2. His name is not listed on birth certficate
3. My husband is the only father she has known.

Should we wait until she is 18 years old, or is this not even possible?

Contacting him, could bring mass chaos back into our lives...what method is used to contact... letter, or publication in paper?

Thank you,

Jeanne M Hannah

Danielle, this is a good question. You may be able to change the last name of your child. This is done in the family court in the county where you and your child live.

What you can do is file for a name change. You will have to give your daughter's father notice of the court process. If he objects to the name change, then the court will not sign the name change order.

However, think about asking him in advance. Perhaps if you agree to lower the child support, or if you agree not to ask for a change in child support until your child is 8 or 10 (arbitrary ages I have selected), then he might consent.

You will find all the help and forms you want at this URL:

Jeanne M Hannah


I am married and have two children my daughter is from a previos relationship therefor has a different last name. Her father lives on the other side of the country and has not seen her in over a year. He does however pay child support with the assistance of income withholding. My question is can I have her last name changed to make her feel part of our family unit before she gets too old. She is three. I live in Ottawa County Michigan

The comments to this entry are closed.


October 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Other Resources


Blog powered by Typepad