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Contested* step parent adoption

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hw.ex

Member
Arkansas

I’m currently in the process of adopting my step son, who i’ve been a full time stay at home mom for a year and a half. I just want to know how likely it is that the adoption could be successful. I have an attorney, but am just interested in other opinions. The biological mother has supervised visits for psychically a using him, and has had supervised visits for over a year. She’s allowed multiple visits a week, but only sees him once a month or less. There have been multiple months where she does not see him at all. When she does see him, she never spends more than an hour, and is allowed up to 6 hours. Id also like to add that she spends the entire time looking at her phone. Not an exaggeration. And owes over $3,500 in child support. She has moved over 5 times in less than a year. Can’t hold a job for more than a couple of months, and has a 9 month old that she does not take care of according to her mother. The attorney said that it normally wouldn’t be likely to terminate her rights if she sees him at all even if she doesn’t pay child support. But after showing her the photos and time frames of the visitations where she doesn’t interact or even talk to him, she said we had a very strong case and wouldn’t advise we go through if she didn’t think we did.
 


hw.ex

Member
Arkansas

I’m in the process of adopting my step son, and am looking for some second opinions. I’ve been a full time mom to my step son for a year and a half. Biological mom has had supervised visits for a year and a half for physically abusing him. She has taken no steps to receive her unsupervised visits and all she had to do was go to therapy/counseling. She hasn't paid child support after ordered to. She is allowed multiple visits a week but only sees him a maximum of twice a month. There have been several months where she did not see him at all. The time she does see him, she only stays for an hour, while she’s allowed up to 6. The hour that she does visit, she does not look up from her phone, or even try to talk to him. He’s 2 and a half. She never says more than a couple words or sentences to him. There have been times he’s brought toys to her asking her to play, and she blatantly ignored him while looking at her phone. And even nudged him away. She has an infant that her mother says she doesn’t take care of. She has moved over 5 times in the past year and hasn’t been able to hold a job for more than a few months. My attorney told me it’s usually unlikely to terminate rights if the parent is even a little involved with the child, but because of the photos/videos of her not even acknowledging him when she visits, and not paying child support being considered legal abandonment, that the case was very strong. But I haven’t found any info on anything similar this at all. Everyone so far i’ve asked online has told me it’s not a good case, but she seems very sure about it, and has told me multiple times she wouldn’t recommend going through if she didn’t believe it was a strong case.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Arkansas

I’m in the process of adopting my step son, and am looking for some second opinions. I’ve been a full time mom to my step son for a year and a half. Biological mom has had supervised visits for a year and a half for physically abusing him. She has taken no steps to receive her unsupervised visits and all she had to do was go to therapy/counseling. She hasn't paid child support after ordered to. She is allowed multiple visits a week but only sees him a maximum of twice a month. There have been several months where she did not see him at all. The time she does see him, she only stays for an hour, while she’s allowed up to 6. The hour that she does visit, she does not look up from her phone, or even try to talk to him. He’s 2 and a half. She never says more than a couple words or sentences to him. There have been times he’s brought toys to her asking her to play, and she blatantly ignored him while looking at her phone. And even nudged him away. She has an infant that her mother says she doesn’t take care of. She has moved over 5 times in the past year and hasn’t been able to hold a job for more than a few months. My attorney told me it’s usually unlikely to terminate rights if the parent is even a little involved with the child, but because of the photos/videos of her not even acknowledging him when she visits, and not paying child support being considered legal abandonment, that the case was very strong. But I haven’t found any info on anything similar this at all. Everyone so far i’ve asked online has told me it’s not a good case, but she seems very sure about it, and has told me multiple times she wouldn’t recommend going through if she didn’t believe it was a strong case.
I hate to second guess someone's attorney, but from my understanding if she is involved at all, that would make it almost impossible to involuntarily terminate her parental rights. If she really is as disinterested as you indicate, there is a possiblity she might agree to terminate her rights.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
Arkansas

I’m currently in the process of adopting my step son, who i’ve been a full time stay at home mom for a year and a half. I just want to know how likely it is that the adoption could be successful. I have an attorney, but am just interested in other opinions. The biological mother has supervised visits for psychically a using him, and has had supervised visits for over a year. She’s allowed multiple visits a week, but only sees him once a month or less. There have been multiple months where she does not see him at all. When she does see him, she never spends more than an hour, and is allowed up to 6 hours. Id also like to add that she spends the entire time looking at her phone. Not an exaggeration. And owes over $3,500 in child support. She has moved over 5 times in less than a year. Can’t hold a job for more than a couple of months, and has a 9 month old that she does not take care of according to her mother. The attorney said that it normally wouldn’t be likely to terminate her rights if she sees him at all even if she doesn’t pay child support. But after showing her the photos and time frames of the visitations where she doesn’t interact or even talk to him, she said we had a very strong case and wouldn’t advise we go through if she didn’t think we did.
Your title of the thread says the adoption is "uncontested"...if it's uncontested (Mom willing to terminate) then why are you concerned?
 

hw.ex

Member
If she is not agreeing to the adoption, why do you call it "uncontested"?
Thats what the attorney wanted to try first, by asking her. And she still hasn’t given an answer. And will probably agree to it in the hearing, she’s just refusing so sign the papers she has now.
 

hw.ex

Member
Your title of the thread says the adoption is "uncontested"...if it's uncontested (Mom willing to terminate) then why are you concerned?
Well, she’s refusing to sign the papers, but will more than likely agree in the hearing. But there’s no way to know for sure until then.
 

hw.ex

Member
I hate to second guess someone's attorney, but from my understanding if she is involved at all, that would make it almost impossible to involuntarily terminate her parental rights. If she really is as disinterested as you indicate, there is a possiblity she might agree to terminate her rights.
The arkansas law state’s that after one full year of not paying child support or not seeing the child, you can attempt to terminate rights. It’s been done. I just can’t find a situation with similar enough details.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
The arkansas law state’s that after one full year of not paying child support or not seeing the child, you can attempt to terminate rights. It’s been done. I just can’t find a situation with similar enough details.
Listen to your attorney. Really.

There's no way a bunch of random strangers on the internet with no direct involvement in the matter will have better advice than your attorney who has all of the facts. Really.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
Listen to your lawyer but I doubt you are going to find an Arkansas judge that is going to terminate the parental rights of a mother if he thinks there is the barest chance that the mom is going to pull it together at some point in the future and certainly not if he thinks that her agreement just came to her during a hearing.
 

hw.ex

Member
Listen to your lawyer but I doubt you are going to find an Arkansas judge that is going to terminate the parental rights of a mother if he thinks there is the barest chance that the mom is going to pull it together at some point in the future and certainly not if he thinks that her agreement just came to her during a hearing.
She’s done that every other time in court. Ignore the papers and agree to what my husbands attorney asks. She didn’t even show up to her custody hearing and that’s one of the reasons she lost custody. There’s also a voice recording of her own mother saying that she doesn’t think she should have custody of him, and if she does, it needs to be supervised. There’s also proof of her lying to her mother about coming to see him and not showing up. She’s seen him less than 23 times in the past year and a half. And every local person i’ve talked to who knows the judge thinks the case is pretty strong as well. Maybe it’s just easier to explain all of the things to someone in person. It’s quite a bit worse than it seems in this thread. I just wanted to see how likely it seemed to someone possibly* more unbiased. I guess we’ll just see.
 

hw.ex

Member
Listen to your attorney. Really.

There's no way a bunch of random strangers on the internet with no direct involvement in the matter will have better advice than your attorney who has all of the facts. Really.
I think I regret posting here anyway. My attorney hasn’t seemed the least bit doubtful. and we’ve been in situations with her where she’s advised against something before. So I definitely trust her.
And before she was my attorney she was already advising my husband to plan to terminate rights in the future, the day that she was granted supervised visits.
 

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