Adoption

questions & answers

Question: I would like my fiance to adopt my children. I do have sole custody of my children. Do I still need permission from the father?

Answer: The fact that you have sole custody does not mean the children's father has no rights.  That depends on specifics. There are a number of missing pieces to your question.  Is the father's name listed on the birth certificate?  Were you married to him when the kids were born?  Is there a legal court order awarding you sole custody (now called legal decision-making)?  Does dad have visitation rights under the court order?  Does he pay child support?  Those are all important factors.  If he is the legal father, he has parental rights and obligations under the law.  For your fiance to be eligible to adopt your children, dad must either voluntarily relinquish his parental rights or have the rights terminated for cause.  For a definitive answer to your question, you need to sit down with a lawyer and go over all the facts and all your paperwork.  There are three programs in Arizona that you can use to get inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the modest means program.  You will need to apply for the program and meet the financial qualifications.  Once you are qualified, Modest Means will send you a list of attorneys whose practice covers your area of concern.  You select a lawyer from the list and will be entitled to a one hour consultation for $75.  If you need additional help and if the lawyer agrees to take your case, the most you will be charged is $75 per hours.  the telephone number is (866) 637-5341.  Both Maricopa County and Pima County have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney for $40.  The telephone number is  (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute attorney consult for $35.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • I would like my fiance to adopt my children. I do have sole custody of my children. Do I still need permission from the father?

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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