Questions about adopting a stepchild(3 Posts)
Hope this is ok to post on here - wasn't sure of the right board to choose. I'm dd's mother and we've been discussing DH, her stepdad, adopting her for quite some time now and we'd like to go ahead with it but have a few questions, if anyone knows about it or has been through it.
For background, dd is 12 and hasn't seen her biological dad since she was about 5 months old - his choice although he'd say I 'stopped contact' as I refused to do exactly what he said, but the reality is I never stood in the way but never bent over backwards to make him see dd either. I left him when dd was 3 months old due to emotional and occasionally physical abuse and he hated the fact I'd decided to leave. He's also never paid any maintenance at all - I applied to CSA at one point but they told me he'd threatened to apply for contact if I pushed for maintenance so I dropped it. We were married (divorced for years now though) so he still has PR. I haven't had any idea where he's been more or less since last seeing him but presumably CSA knew where he was when they got in touch with him - I heard through 4th hand gossip he'd moved counties but that's the most I know.
1) I've read I'm expected to have tried to find/contact him, to ask permission for the adoption, what does this mean in practice - do I actually have to go out of my way to track him down, ask a solicitor to look into it etc, or just find him if I can but not worry about it if not? He's got an extremely common first name and surname so it's not as simple as Googling/looking on FB, would need someone to find him through tax/NI number or something I expect.
2) How much should I be talking it through/'lecturing' dd about it? We've talked about it obviously and made it clear it's her choice but think she's mainly all for it because she's never had a relationship with her biological dad and DH is all the dad she knows. Seems totally reasonable to me, I think a dad who can walk off and forget their child is no dad at all but she's still relatively young for the decision, what if she blames me for losing that link later? Should I be pushing the 'downsides' more?
3) How long and complicated is the process? I know it will depend on whether her bio-dad is found and kicks up a fuss or not but any general experiences?
This gives a lot of information. But I've got no personal experience to share sorry!
That page looks far more useful than the local/national gov ones, thanks!
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