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  1. #1
    YAA2316 is offline Junior Member
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    How can my husband adopt my daughter?

    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!!
  2. #2
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by YAA2316 View Post
    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!!
    If father (he's not biofather. He's just father) contests it you might have a very tough battle. He has the absolute right to contest it if he wishes to do so.

    Your daughter calling your husband "Dad" is not a good idea, either. Legally she has one father and your husband isn't it until and unless dad's rights are terminated and your husband legally adopts her....which again is going to be tricky because Dad does have contact (albeit sporadic).

    Did you ever file for contempt for the unpaid child support? It was court ordered, yes?

    When you say he's not a fit father - can you offer proof that he's unfit?
    Last edited by Proserpina; 06-21-2009 at 11:41 PM.
  3. #3
    YAA2316 is offline Junior Member
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    My daughter calls my husband "Dad" because he is the only dad she's ever had. and that was her choice not ours. I do not see why that is a bad idea even if he's not legally her father? Her bio-dad knows it and doesnt care either. It would only confuse her to tell her to stop, and we have no intention of doing so, he is her real dad even if a court doesnt think so and her bio-dad said himself he's not fit to be called dad.

    I do not wish to go after her bio-dad for child support because I dont want anything from him except for him to go away. I thought I made that clear when i said I want my husband to adopt her.

    I am not sure if I can prove legally he is unfit, He never got arrested when he was on drugs, but he has been arrested for unpaid traffic tickets, and domestic disputes with his "fiancee". He is also Living with that woman who is on record for abusing him and they are not supposed to be in contact. He cannot keep a job, and currently does not have one. He cannot keep a steady place of residence.
    I do not know how to prove he is unfit and that is why I asked the question How do I prove to a judge he is unfit....
    I asked many other questions also and am waiting for a responce on those also...
  4. #4
    YAA2316 is offline Junior Member
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    Oh and I just realized I said I had been married to my husband for 2 years, when we've been married for 4 and like I said he has raised my daughter since the day she was born, literally he was in the hospital with me, not bio-dad.
  5. #5
    momofrose is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by YAA2316 View Post
    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.

    It was very NICE of you to let the dad see his own daughter.


    He has been mostly out of her life but pops in every few months.


    So he see's his daughter.

    My daughter calls my husband "dad"


    BAD IDEA!!! He is not her father and should not be addressing him as such - it is up to you to make certain she knows he is actually not her dad - you will raise a very confused child.

    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.

    Not very smart - child support is for the child and any parent that pays child support needs to actually pay it - not smart on your part.

    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.

    YOU are not doing your job as a mother to try and facilitate a relationship between her and her dad. It might all seem good to you now, but watch out as she get's older!


    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

    Wait - she has said for years that she wants her last name changed?? She's only 6!!! More like you are coaching her and making it apparent to her that she has a different last name - shame on you!

    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."

    HE IS RIGHT!!!

    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...

    You chose her father - you do not get to play musical daddies now.


    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?

    The FATHER is in her life - and does not want the adoption to take place - really case closed - no adoption.


    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!!
    Excuse me - but you are the one putting her in the middle. You should be acting as a mother and making sure that her dad and her spend quality time together. File for adoption - let him contest it - you will lose - case closed. Poor kid!
  6. #6
    YAA2316 is offline Junior Member
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    Okay, I must be confused, because I came on here looking for answers to my questions and I have not had one question actually directly answered. I do not care for personal opinions on my situation, the fact is I dont know you and who are you to say things like "shame on you" or that Im not doing my job as a Mother. Get over yourself, who are you to judge me.
    Anyways I am just looking for the answers to the actual questions I have asked, the only reason I gave any other backround was because I didnt know what would help. I need actual advice from someone unbias, and that actually knows the law for my state and what they are talking about. I am not looking for people to be on my side, I just dont know where to start the process....
    I do not need a fight from anyone, I was only looking for a starting point, if you do not know what that is then PLEASE do not say anything at all... I am under enough stress and I am 6 months pregnant so if you have any humanity in your system at all, just leave me alone if you decide you dont like me, because I dont really care (no offense intended Im just being honest). If this is the wrong place to get advice from people that are non-judgmental and are just going to state the facts, then I am sorry I came here and waisted time, but I just need to know for sure. And if this is the wrong place, does anyone know where I go to find actual answers???
    For anyone else that can actually answer my questions, I would appreciate it so much. I do not know what to do and what my options are... Thanks
  7. #7
    momofrose is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by YAA2316 View Post
    Okay, I must be confused, because I came on here looking for answers to my questions and I have not had one question actually directly answered. I do not care for personal opinions on my situation, the fact is I dont know you and who are you to say things like "shame on you" or that Im not doing my job as a Mother. Get over yourself, who are you to judge me.
    Anyways I am just looking for the answers to the actual questions I have asked, the only reason I gave any other backround was because I didnt know what would help. I need actual advice from someone unbias, and that actually knows the law for my state and what they are talking about. I am not looking for people to be on my side, I just dont know where to start the process....
    I do not need a fight from anyone, I was only looking for a starting point, if you do not know what that is then PLEASE do not say anything at all... I am under enough stress and I am 6 months pregnant so if you have any humanity in your system at all, just leave me alone if you decide you dont like me, because I dont really care (no offense intended Im just being honest). If this is the wrong place to get advice from people that are non-judgmental and are just going to state the facts, then I am sorry I came here and waisted time, but I just need to know for sure. And if this is the wrong place, does anyone know where I go to find actual answers???
    For anyone else that can actually answer my questions, I would appreciate it so much. I do not know what to do and what my options are... Thanks

    You have been given your answer (though you do not care for it) - DAD is in his child's life - DAD does not want adoption to take place DAD will win.

    If you want legal answers without personal opinion - pay a lawyer.
  8. #8
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    I was just wondering what is washington states process for a stepfather to adopt a child?
    YOu will NEED an attorney.


    What will happen if her biological father tries to contest it?
    You will most likely lose based on the facts you have presented. Because he is HER FATHER -- legally.


    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?
    You prove it through admissible evidence to show that he is legally unfit and not just living in a manner in which you disagree.
    How long will the whole process take?
    If he contests it could take several years.

    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?
    In an adoption the child will be in the middle. Because a GAL will be appoitned to represent her wishes/best interests and the court may want her brought in due to the severity of the situation.


    And any other information would be So Greatly Appreciated!!
    Actually that statement was a lie because you didn't mean it. You meant "Any other information I want to hear would be so greatly appreciated!"
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  9. #9
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Where your problem lies is that either the father must consent, or you must prove to the court that his level of unfitness warrants involuntary termination of his rights - and there is a very high standard for doing so.

    Your best bet is to speak with a local adoption attorney, as this shouldn't be a DIY project.

    But, since I'm in a charitable mood today, you could start by looking here [url]http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.33[/url] (which was actually easily found via Google).
  10. #10
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by YAA2316 View Post
    My daughter calls my husband "Dad" because he is the only dad she's ever had. and that was her choice not ours. I do not see why that is a bad idea even if he's not legally her father? Her bio-dad knows it and doesnt care either. It would only confuse her to tell her to stop, and we have no intention of doing so, he is her real dad even if a court doesnt think so and her bio-dad said himself he's not fit to be called dad.

    I do not wish to go after her bio-dad for child support because I dont want anything from him except for him to go away. I thought I made that clear when i said I want my husband to adopt her.

    I am not sure if I can prove legally he is unfit, He never got arrested when he was on drugs, but he has been arrested for unpaid traffic tickets, and domestic disputes with his "fiancee". He is also Living with that woman who is on record for abusing him and they are not supposed to be in contact. He cannot keep a job, and currently does not have one. He cannot keep a steady place of residence.
    I do not know how to prove he is unfit and that is why I asked the question How do I prove to a judge he is unfit....
    I asked many other questions also and am waiting for a responce on those also...
    Your daughter currently has one mother - you - and one father (who is not your husband). YOU might not like this, or might not care what the court thinks, but the courts can and regularly do smack down the custodial parent who is seen to be usurping the role (by letting kiddo call someone else Mom or Dad) of the other parent; particularly when that CP states that s/he doesn't care what the court thinks, s/he will keep going anyway. I'm going to emphasize this in case the point hasn't been made clearly.

    YOU CAN LOSE CUSTODY. You might not think kiddo calling your husband "daddy" is a big deal. Her father might not care. But it happens - the NCP changes his/her mind and starts to push the issue....and if the CP refuses to rectify the situation (ie, kiddo has to learn that she has one Mom, one Dad and one Stepdad) the CP can lose custody to the NCP. It has happened.

    Now, please answer this:

    Do you have a current court order concerning child support?

    There is a reason I asked the question.

    And finally, nobody here likes or dislikes you. We don't know you. Frankly, who you are isn't important - but what happens with your child is important. This isn't about what you want - it's about what is legal, and what is best for your child.

    (for what it's worth the replies you've received here are nothing compared to if you had gone into court with the same posts and attitudes. Nothing. Trust me).

    ETA: OP, you have also received some responses from people who have been there...this isn't just random letters being typed onto a keyboard with the sole intention of upsetting a poster. In at least one instance you're being given the benefit of experience and perhaps a warning of how NOT to go about this. There is a right, and a wrong, way of doing this - don't pick the wrong way.
    Last edited by Proserpina; 06-22-2009 at 10:11 AM.
  11. #11
    YAA2316 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    YOu will NEED an attorney.



    You will most likely lose based on the facts you have presented. Because he is HER FATHER -- legally.



    You prove it through admissible evidence to show that he is legally unfit and not just living in a manner in which you disagree.

    If he contests it could take several years.


    In an adoption the child will be in the middle. Because a GAL will be appoitned to represent her wishes/best interests and the court may want her brought in due to the severity of the situation.




    Actually that statement was a lie because you didn't mean it. You meant "Any other information I want to hear would be so greatly appreciated!"


    Well first off I just want to say thank you for answering my questions. At least now I have an idea of where to start. And secondly the last part about me only wanting information I want to hear, is not true. I could not understand what the other posts were saying in between trying to insult me. When a person is attacked and has done nothing to deserve it, it is kind of hard to take advice from someone who is just being rude.
    Anyways Thanks again.
  12. #12
    YAA2316 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmatique View Post
    Your daughter currently has one mother - you - and one father (who is not your husband). YOU might not like this, or might not care what the court thinks, but the courts can and regularly do smack down the custodial parent who is seen to be usurping the role (by letting kiddo call someone else Mom or Dad) of the other parent; particularly when that CP states that s/he doesn't care what the court thinks, s/he will keep going anyway. I'm going to emphasize this in case the point hasn't been made clearly.

    YOU CAN LOSE CUSTODY. You might not think kiddo calling your husband "daddy" is a big deal. Her father might not care. But it happens - the NCP changes his/her mind and starts to push the issue....and if the CP refuses to rectify the situation (ie, kiddo has to learn that she has one Mom, one Dad and one Stepdad) the CP can lose custody to the NCP. It has happened.

    Now, please answer this:

    Do you have a current court order concerning child support?

    There is a reason I asked the question.

    And finally, nobody here likes or dislikes you. We don't know you. Frankly, who you are isn't important - but what happens with your child is important. This isn't about what you want - it's about what is legal, and what is best for your child.

    (for what it's worth the replies you've received here are nothing compared to if you had gone into court with the same posts and attitudes. Nothing. Trust me).

    ETA: OP, you have also received some responses from people who have been there...this isn't just random letters being typed onto a keyboard with the sole intention of upsetting a poster. In at least one instance you're being given the benefit of experience and perhaps a warning of how NOT to go about this. There is a right, and a wrong, way of doing this - don't pick the wrong way.


    I am so sorry but you are confused about what I said... I never Ever said I did not care what a court thinks of my daughter calling my husband dad, I said I dont care what you think. I could not understand why you would ask about that because for One I did not understand how it pertained to anything... but I do now, and for two I didnt understand why you felt the need to attack me. And say awful things that had nothing to do with the questions I asked. Also we tell my daughter all the time that my husband is her stepdad and that her Biological father is her dad... I do not manipulate my child in any way to think a certain way, and I am beyond insulted that you could read a few paragraphs and not only assume such a thing but state it in writing as if you know it is fact when you do not.

    I am not sure whether I have a court order concerning child support, but I dont think so anymore. The reason is years ago I had a court order through the state that made him pay child support, when he asked me to take it off, I called my child support contact and told them I no longer needed their services... He did have $5,000 in back pay that he pays to the state but I do not recieve any of that. The reason I did take the Child Support off was because he did not have any contact with his daughter at the time and I didnt feel it was right to make him pay for a child he didnt want to see, when I am perfectly capable of supporting her myself. I am not a monster I have tried to get him and his daughter to have a relationship, as I said I have given him every chance possible that I knew how, I know I may have made some mistakes but I was a teen mother and didnt know seemingly small decisions I made years ago would affect me in such a way now because I did not expect that me and her biological father would fight like this. We were good friends for years, but the last few years he has told me he wants nothing to do with her then Comes back a few months later and said he changes his mind... I do not want my daughters emotions played with like that. AND I do not see how it would make me a good mother to let a man like that mess with my daughters head whenever he feels like it, just because they have the same blood. Im sorry but that does not make sense to me and I doubt any mother would FEEL any differently.

    My point being that I CARE WHAT IS BEST FOR MY CHILD TOO! Every breath of every day I care, and someone saying things like "poor child" about my daughter is ridiculous and uncalled for.
    And the replies I recieved here had at first too much personal opinions from people who dont know me. And I did not have any bad attitude untill that happened first. I find it hard to believe that if i had come to a person, they would have treated me the way you did upon hearing what I had to say. And I do plan on going to a lawyer I just have never been in a situation where I needed one and was hoping for some direction, and what I got right away was animosity. And petty untrue remarks. It took me actually asking you to keep your opinions to yourself for you to give me advice I could understand because It was laced with your personal opinions.

    I understand that there is a right and wrong way to do this, and I dont plan on picking the wrong way, and thats why I came here. My daughter is more important to me than anything and It has been that way since I was pregnant with her! I spend everyminute of everyday thinking of my childrens well being and trying to raise them in a healthy loving environment, EVERY decision I make is based on them, and the fact is that is why Im here. Im sorry if you dont agree or understand fully, but I am doing what any other GOOD mother would do in my position, and that is make sure my child is raised in a safe and healthy environment by people who love her and do not just use her as a trophy for others to see. And if you think that deserves for you to say "shame on you" or try to tell me Im not doing my job, then I am truly sorry for you.

    Honestly though when you weren't trying to insult me you were quite helpful so thank you for that at least...
  13. #13
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    How on earth was that attacking you?! It wasn't covered in pink pansies and bunnies, but it certainly wasn't an attack.

    0
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    Y0ou said:

    It would only confuse her to tell her to stop, and we have no intention of doing so, he is her real dad even if a court doesnt think so and her bio-dad said himself he's not fit to be called dad.
    Possible interpretation: we have no intention on making our daughter stop calling my husband Dad even if the court disagrees with us.

    See how that can work?
  14. #14
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmatique View Post
    How on earth was that attacking you?! It wasn't covered in pink pansies and bunnies, but it certainly wasn't an attack.

    0
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    Y0ou said:



    Possible interpretation: we have no intention on making our daughter stop calling my husband Dad even if the court disagrees with us.

    See how that can work?

    Dog...You are so sweet to try and educate the deliberately stupid.
  15. #15
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    LOL sorry - that last post was "helped" by a toddler before I hit "enter" and the typo was funny enough not to edit

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