What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Washington State
Okay so I want my husband to adopt my 6 year old daughter, he has raised her since she was born and we have been married for 2 years. I was 16 when I got pregnant and my daughter has my maiden name for her last name. when my daughter was 1 1/2 I started letting her biological father see her from time to time, we never got a paternity test but he is on the birth certificate. He has been mostly out of her life but pops in every few months. My daughter calls my husband "dad" and my husband raises her and provides 100% financial support, I used to have child support through the state from her biological father but he begged me to take it off because he said he was always broke so i did. He has not paid a cent for over 2 1/2 years. Her biological father was seeing her every other weekend for a while but we found out his fiancee was abusing him, and has a bipolar condition, and was mean to my daughter- so we told him his fiancee was not allowed around our daughter and that he could still come visit her if he wanted. He did not come to see her but once, he calls once a month and tells her that he'll see her "next weekend" and then never shows up, or calls or gives us any way to contact him. My daughter doesnt call him dad and she tells him when he calls that it doesnt matter if he comes over or not.
I have tried to tell him before that he cannot jump in and out of her life as he pleases, that he either needs to be there or just leave her be, I do not care so much that he doesnt pay child support, I just dont want him playing with her emotions. She has said for years that she wants to have the same last name as me and my husband and her little brother that we have together, we did not have my husband adopt her in the past because we didnt know how to, and now we are about to have our second child together and we just want it to be legalized that we are a family just like we know we are in our hearts. My daughters biological father doesnt really care to see her but whenever I tell him my husband wants to adopt her, he gets mad and says "but Im her father." and I tell him "It takes more to be a father than just blood!", so Im afraid that he will fight me on this, and I dont want any stress I just want it done but I dont know where to start or how to make a judge understand that he is only fighting this for namesake not because he has ever actually tried to be a dad.
I have been more than accomodating to her biological father, I have given him every chance in the world to step up and be a dad if he wanted, but he only likes claiming he's a dad and not actually participating in her life. He has a history of drug abuse, and he told me recently that he is on a destructive path, and for some reason he still wants me to let him in my daughters life! I dont know what to do because I do not want a fight, I just want my husband to adopt her like we should have done years ago...
I was just wondering what is washington states process for a stepfather to adopt a child?
What will happen if her biological father tries to contest it?
How do I let a judge that doesnt really know me or my situation, know that he is not a fit father, and his environment is not fit to put a child in?
How long will the whole process take?
I also dont want my daughter caught in the middle of a fight, how can I keep her personally out of it because she does not deserve to be put in the middle?
And any other information would be So Greatly Appreciated!!