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Step parent

(4 Posts)
superwomen20 Tue 05-Jul-11 16:25:16

Hi my Ds is 18 months old his bio father has had no contact with him since he was 4 weeks old he has never supported or provided for him. Bio dad has been in and out of prison, has an asbo, probation orders and also a restraining order not to contact or come to my address for the next 2 years. I recently applied for a residency order which I was given as he's threatened to take my ds several times. During our "relationship" there was domestic abuse. He has recently applied for contact waiting for a date for finding of fact hearing. My hubby and I have spoke about hubby adopting ds how likely does anyone think this would be or applying for a step parent responsibility order.

alicecalvert Tue 05-Jul-11 20:27:46

as I understand it they would ALWAYS ask the birth dad's opinion about a step parent adoption - as this is a draconian order which actually terminates his legal parental relationship with your son. (I speak as an adoptive parent who adopted her niece - and appreciate that this sounds harsh & unfair when birth dad has been so "un-involved" so far). It is supposed to be decided in the child's best interests - rather than just to make it easier for the parent & their new spouse. If the birth dad is named on the child's birth cert he has "parental responsibility" (PR) for the child, and is able to give permission for medical treatment, sign consent forms etc. etc. Parental responsibilty can be shared between any number of people - obviously you have PR as well. Step parent responsibility order would give PR to your dh as well - which might be easier for you as a family - as EITHER of you would be able to make decisions/sign forms for your son, not just you. But my understanding is that this would not do anything to legally remove the birth father from the picture. I stress that my knowledge is a few years out of date though. I think there are other orders a court can make which are somewhere between a PR order and a full adoption order - but I don't know any details, sorry.

superwomen20 Tue 05-Jul-11 21:46:27

Yes he has PR and dont think he'll ever agree to adoption even though imo its in the childs best interest. Thanks for your advice think we'll look more into the PR order for my husband would ex have to agrre to this do you know?

alicecalvert Tue 05-Jul-11 22:58:18

Sorry, I don't know that. It is possible to adopt without the birth father's permission - a good number of step parent adoptions do happen, & I imagine that quite a number of birth parents would object. But it would be social services/the courts who decide if it is in the child's best interests (which I imagine might be difficult for you - cos that's your job!!) - and they would probably stir things up quite a lot with your ex-partner. That is not to say that it isn't worth doing/investigating - only that it would be a lot more hassle.

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