Consent to Adoption From Absent Father
by Krista from Brevard County, Florida
Do I need consent from absent father to change my son's last name? My eight year old son's father is currently in jail and is a registered sex offender.
He has not been a part of my son's life and has never supported him financially. I am the only parent listed on the birth certificate but paternity has been established.
My son knows who he is but has no relationship with him. He has been in and out of jail and rehab from the time my son has been two weeks old.
I am married now and would like to change my son's last name to mine and possibly have my husband adopt him. Do I need to get the father's consent or can this be done even if he is not willing to agree?
Answer to Florida Adoption Question
Since your current husband is willing to adopt your son, and according to what you told me, you should be able to proceed without the father's consent.
The Joint Petition for Step-Parent Adoption, Form 12.981(b)1, includes the termination of parental rights of the parent terminating rights. Usually, it must be consensual, but not always.
That form and other family law forms can be found on the Florida Supreme Court's website, www.flcourts.org. Instructions for the Joint Petition for Step-Parent Adoption, state in part:
This form should be used when a stepparent is adopting his or her spouse’s child. Both the stepparent and his or her spouse must sign this petition. You must attach all necessary consents or acknowledgments that apply to your case, as
listed under the Special Notes section below. Florida Statutes require that consent to adoption be obtained from:
- the mother of the minor.
- the father of the minor if:
- the minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother;
- the minor is his child by adoption;
- the minor has been established by a court proceeding to be his child;
- he has filed an affidavit of paternity pursuant to section 382.013(2)(c) Florida Statutes; or
- in the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, has filed such acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within the required timeframes, and has complied with the requirements of section 63.062(2)
Item 10, on the Joint Petition for Step-Parent Adoption, asks for the following information:
10. The following person(s) whose consent is required has not consented. The facts/ circumstances that excuse the lack of consent and would justify termination of this person’s parental rights are:
Name Address Facts/circumstances: ________________Notice:
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