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  1. #1
    nameless Guest

    Question adoption when father is unknown on birth certificate

    What is the name of your state? Georgia
    I was interested in finding out what steps I must take to have my husband whom I married this past March (2003) adopt my daughter. She is now 2 years old and at the time of her birth the biological father was not interested in being involved with either one of us and as I was unwed I had to mark the father unknown if he wasn't willing to sign a paper to acknowledge paternity. Now he is aware of my current situation and has agreed to do whatever it takes to help us out with an adoption, he has been aware of the baby and aloud to participate this whole time but did not want to do so. Do I need to have the biofather's rights terminated even though he is marked as unknown and if so what steps do I need to take to terminate them? How do I go about an adoption because now I live in Georgia but the baby was born in Pennsylvania and the biofather still resides there? Is there a waiting period before my husband can adopt her? Thank you for your time and I look forward to any advice someone might have for me.

  2. #2
    Seanscott is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Paternity has to be established before any parental rights can be terminated. Biodad will have to take a DNA test. If it proves he is the father, he pays for the test. If not - the you pay for it.

    Have your husband file a petition to adopt in the county you currently live in. This will start the whole process of paternity & termination of rights.

    Usually the couple must be married for one year. By the time the process is complete, your year will be up, so file as soon as you want.

    You have a a classic case for a stepparent adoption and it should go well since the biodad doesn't want to fight. If your husband can pass a background check & home study, everything should go just fine.

    Best Wishes to you.

  3. #3
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    It appears that there may be circumstances under which the non-married bio-father's consent is not required. See item 3 under "consent is not needed" which may apply. Obviously, if he is willing to consent and available, that is the easiest way.

    Here is a partial summary of the GA Adoption Statute:


    Georgia Adoption Statute Summary

    Georgia Code Annotated Sections 19-8-1 to 19-8-26 (1998)

    Who Can Adopt?
    Any adult person, including a foster parent, may adopt a child, if the person is at least 25 years old or is married and living with his or her spouse; is at least 10 years older than the child; has been a resident of the State for at least 6 months before filing to adopt; and is financially, physically, and
    mentally able to have permanent custody of the child.

    Married persons must adopt jointly, unless the person who wants to adopt is the stepparent, then that person can file to adopt alone.

    Who Can Be Adopted?
    Any person can be adopted.

    Consent to Adoption
    Consent must be given by

    the Department of Human Resources or child-placing agency after
    the parents have surrendered their rights to the child or have had their parental rights terminated by court order;

    both biological parents, when surrendering the child directly to a third party other than the Department or child-placing agency;

    the child, if 14 years of age or older; and

    both natural parents, if living, in the case of a stepparent adoption.

    Adult persons may be adopted by giving written consent to the adoption.

    A parent's consent is not required when the parent

    has abandoned the child or cannot be found;

    is incapacitated from giving up his/her rights to the child; or

    has for a period of 1 year or longer failed to communicate with or provide support for the child and the mother during her pregnancy, and the court has decided that adoption is in the child's best interest as a familial bond was not formed between the biological father and the child.

    If there is a biological father, who is not the legal father of the child, he may consent to the adoption if his whereabouts are known and he has not given up the child for adoption. He shall be notified that the mother has given up the child for adoption. He will be given 30 days to respond, otherwise his parental rights will be terminated and he cannot object to the adoption. If he asserts rights to the child, the court will assess those rights with respect to factors such as whether he has lived with, supported, or legitimated the child.

    If the biological, nonlegal father's whereabouts are unknown, the adoption agency will file a petition with the court to terminate his rights and allow the adoption to occur. The court will make the decision about whether the adoption should occur, based on the circumstances, e.g., whether the biological father established a familial bond with the child and whether the Department made reasonable efforts to locate the father. The parent who has consented to the adoption may withdraw consent by written notice within 10 days after consentinghas for a period of 1 year or longer failed to communicate with or provide support for the child and the mother during her pregnancy, and the court has decided that adoption is in the child's best interest as a familial bond was not formed between the biological father and the child

    Last edited by nextwife; 06-30-2003 at 09:28 AM.

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