Partner adoption and biological father(33 Posts)
Hey all, I have a couple of questions here...
I've been with my partner since my son was a few months old (he's now 12) and although my boy is fully aware that he's not his "real" dad, he considers him to be dad. He's met his biological dad once, and wasn't impressed.
We were thinking the other day and realised that if anything ever happened to me, my partner would have no legal rights whatsoever over our boy, so we're looking at adoption. (We do not intend to marry, although we would possibly consider it if it would make the process easier). Our boy loves the idea of dad becoming legal dad and is all for it.
Biological dad has seen my boy once in 12 years, and doesn't pay maintenance, although we keep in touch sporadically and are on generally friendly terms.
My concern is actually for biological dad - we had a fling while he was separated from his wife which resulted in my beautiful boy, he eventually went back to his wife, but his wife doesn't know about his extra son as biological dad didn't want to tell her (even though they were separated at the time). I'm worried that social services will contact biological dad, it says they will want to do a "report" on him for the courts. I don't want to cause him any problems, he's never caused us any problems and is basically a decent guy, but if SS turn up on his doorstep his wife is going to find out.
He is named on my boy's birth certificate, but as far as I can tell, he has no parental responsibility as it was before 2003, and he has no contact or financial contribution, so would they need to contact him? Could he just get a letter to his workplace to sign or something? I know he won't object to the adoption if it's what we (me, partner and our boy) want to do.
The adoption will go through eventually regardless as me and my partner will do what is best for our boy, but I'd like to avoid problems for biological dad if I can.
Any advice or insights are appreciated!
Rooners I am in a very similar situation.
If you would like to chat about it, please feel free to pm me.
Rooners you do not need the birth fathers consent if they do not have pr. However ss should make every attempt to contact him to inform him
there are adoption proceedings in place.
Well good luck Rooners whatever you decide and I hope it works out well for you and your DC.
Thankyou very much for taking the time to post, it is really helpful.
First off I would not lie about it. I don't lie if I can help it, in normal circumstances so it would not sit right with me. Also obviously it would carry risks - to win or to build something on a false foundation is always risky and I like to be able to sleep at night though I can see why people do it, and actually I don't sleep well anyway knowing he might turn up one day.
But still. Yes he knows my details but has not used them so far. I will think very carefully about this before I take any sort of action,
thankyou all again. I am glad he would not be granted residency in any case.
I assume he could still overturn it, yes. The courts let fathers who don't have PR intervene in other proceedings (eg/ care and adoption ones) to a pretty late stage. It isn't about who the child lives with, it's about their legal relationships. And he would never be able to get custody from you. The most he'll ever get is contact, and that's if he bothers to show at court and actually fight (and present a reasonable face). A childs birth parents can try and fight for contact even AFTER an adoption order, by applying for a contact order. Would he get contact that way, probably not, the court only grant them in very rare circumstances, but you'd still wind up involved in a court case against him.
Another issue is who else knows, how old is your son and does your son know that he has a father he doesn't see? Because once a child reaches about 5, they will have a chat with a social worker without the parents present as part of the process, and one of the things they might be asked is their understanding of what's going on.
I truly get that if he's very abusive, you don't ever want to speak to him again. Does he know your contact details? If not, you can insist that he doesn't get any of yours, and your details on the court forms can be replaced by a number to give you protection, this happens all the time for adoptive parents in contested cases. That way, the only possible way to speak to him is both being in court, and he isn't allowed to just start chatting to you or being abusive to you in the middle of a court hearing.
If you try the lying route, you really run the risk of SS finding out, and they take a dim view of lying, but bigger than that, lying in court is far more serious than that if you get caught doing it.
Rooners, yes i think he could - I don't know the legality in England, but I do know that when we adopted ds1 his mother had said she didn't know who the father was. The law changed here, she was asked again, the adoption was put on hold until eventually she named someone. We then had to go back and retrace him, contact him and go to all sorts of lengths. It was horrible.
If he knows he is your son's father, and you have told him, even if it was years ago, he can then prove you lied in court saying you didn't know who it was. And of course a DNA test would cement it. Whether or not he is a fit parent would be decided at the time, and the definition of fit can be very loose.
It's not worth the risk, really it isn't.
Ben I'm going to do Rooners the favour of assuming that she's probably going to think reasonably carefully about the legal proceedings relating to her child's parentage. She strikes me as probably being able to take my tongue in cheek remark in the spirit in which it was meant.
I do think it is significant that he is not on the birth certificate and has never had not sought parental responsibility.
Also would it only matter if the biological father wanted and was prepared to take care of the child himself?
I mean could he seek to overturn the adoption if he was never prepared to actually look after the child? Like being a dog in the manger, sort of thing?
as for being a 'fit parent' I don't think he would qualify in any way, shape or form sadly.
Lilka, would that still apply if he was never on the birth certificate and never had PR?
I would point out that one of the very few grounds in this country for overturning an adoption, is that the birth parent was unaware of the adoption proceedings
Yeah, then if he shows up at a later date and claims to be the father and that op knew and didn't try to find him - OP faces legal prosecution and the bio dad can claim rights. Brilliant idea.
Thank God op is showing some sense and understands the importance and legality of the matter
I think you don't know who father is. No idea. Could be any one of a number of gentlemen. Shall I call them all and ask if anyone wants to put their name down with me and the CSA?
LOL at Barry
Thanks for your advice, I'll look into it a bit more carefully I think, it's really complicated.
Sometimes it is a good thing when a deadbeat parent is 'honest' enough to just sign over the child to people who care about them.
I have a feeling if he did get in touch, one mention of the CSA and he would back off again sharpish.
Id have changed my first name for sure but mum said no. I have no idea what. Probably Barry as I was adamant I was a boy at that age It was very quick. Basically asked if I was happy with it happening and I agreed. It was a Christmas eve too when it happened.
Bio dad had a choice either back dated child maintenance or sign rights over to my dad. That paper was signed so quick. He tried telling me he didn't have a choice and was forced
I know have two birth certs with different fathers on.
I'm sure if the father hasn't been in contact or paying for so long they don't need him there. Do you know where he is? If not then you aren't technically lying
Yes I thought of that but would prefer obvs not to lie in court, it might come back to bite me iyswim? I am glad btw that it worked out for you, I think that's brilliant. What do you think you would have changed your name to?
Rooners cant you say you don't know the father? If not on birth cert then I dont see why you couldn't. Look into it, might just be away to do it
I was adopted by mums partner at 10/11. I think my bio dad had to sign papers. In family court room I was given the chance to change first and middle name too! I wasn't allowed
My bio dad handed me straight over. He just saw it as a way of not having to pay maintenance and money was more important. Best thing he ever did for me
No, does that make a difference?
Is he on birth certificate Rooners?
Oh that is bad news.
There is no way on earth I would ever make contact with his father.
Back to the drawing board.
You can apply to waive birth parent consent (DS's adoption was done this way) but they won't do that just on the say so of the other birth parent! Waiver of birth parent consent is taken very seriously and I have seen courts insist that reisdent birth/adoptive parents go to extraordinary lengths to contact other birth parent - even where it patently obviously isn;t possible or even in the best interests of the child.
I would think for the borth father to contact a named person at SS provided by you will be the most straightforward way forward.
I'm pretty sure the local authority have a legal duty to interview the other birth parents if they can find them and if the parent agrees to meet. If the other parent is missing, just can't be found anywhere or there's some other exceptional reason they can't be interviewed, the local authority will have to demonstrate that to the court.
I was in the same situation as that rooners when my dh adopted my dd.
He still had to be asked. It is legally very final.
It can never be undone. If is final. For example he signs the papers and shows up on your door step - you can have him arrested. It removes all legal rights, that includes maintenence and inheritance ( unless stated in the will)
There is no legal difference between step parent adoption and formal adoption
I had lots of heart ache when deciding to go down the step parent adoption route. I had to be prepared it would open a can of worms. It must cause the bio dad to think long and hard about the past and the future
fortunately he agreed straight away, was uninterested and it went smoothly.
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