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Adopting 'step child' any advice?

(100 Posts)
Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:19:27

Hi everyone, so dd and dp have a solid daughter/ father relationship and we are looking into adoption. We have been together 6 years adoption no he has brought up from a baby. I have no father on the birth certificate but know who the biological father is. Do we still need his permission? How tricky will this be? Thanks. To note: dd knows of bio dad but never seen him nor does he pay any maintenance and me, dp and dd have lived together for 3 years. Thanks in advance xx

AnotherEmma Sun 26-Feb-17 14:26:40

How old is your daughter?
And why do you want your partner to legally adopt your daughter as opposed to just carrying on being a stepdad to her?
Do the two of you have any plans to get married and/or have any children together?

I would be very wary of giving parental rights to someone who was not a biological parent. He might be a wonderful stepdad to her, but what if the two of you split up one day? Do you really want him to have equal rights to you?

FWIW I also think you should go through CMO/CSA and claim child maintenance from her biological father.

highinthesky Sun 26-Feb-17 14:28:09

It's a nice idea, that's how it should stay.

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:37:23

Daughter is 6 and he has brought her up since she was 6 months old. We are trying for our second. We will likely marry at some point but not the bee all and end all for us. We want to have him adopt her because then he will have parental responsibility of both children with me equally and then we can have both children having our surnames names double barrelled.we want for both children to be equal in name and whatnot, being consciously aware that biologically dp is not bio her father. She calls him daddy and she absolutely adores him. She is also aware of bio dad as we explained to her a while ago when she could understand

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:37:46

The question isn't should we but how do we do it smile

Somerville Sun 26-Feb-17 14:38:04

The two key questions here are:

What are your (and his) motivations for wanting to place their relationship on a legal footing?
And, is adoption the best way for your DD of achieving what you want?

Once a lot of parents answer the first question they find out that they can achieve what they want through getting married and then giving the step-parent parental responsibility. (Which is very straight-forward - particularly in a case like yours where the bio-father isn't on birth certificate.) We're just in the process of that, and we can achieve 99% of the security my DC want in their relationship with DH if something happens to me from him having PR. We'll reconsider adoption sometime afterward.

AnotherEmma Sun 26-Feb-17 14:39:04

He doesn't need to adopt her to have parental responsibility. You can just create a parental responsibility agreement to give it to him. You don't need permission from her bio dad because he's not on the birth certificate so he doesn't have parental responsibility.

See mobile.gingerbread.org.uk/info/FactsheetSection.aspx?FactsheetId=19&SectionId=102&slide=2

ProudBadMum Sun 26-Feb-17 14:39:21

My dad brought me up from 2 and didn't adopt me til I was 11. To make sure I totally understood what it means and it was my choice as the judge will ask the child if they want this

My bio dad I had no contact with and he signed us over to avoid CSA payments. Great man hmm

Has bio dad had the chance to be a dad?

AnotherEmma Sun 26-Feb-17 14:40:23

Cross post! Obviously I agree with Somer

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:43:51

Many thanks for your replies. Yes I gave bio dad plenty of opportunities and he wasn't interested. I did not realise that getting married gives him PR, was that what you meant? Marriage is a possibility but it's essential for us. We are all pretty happy with how things are and super excited we are trying for baby no 2! I will look at the link you popped up on there. Thank you x

AnotherEmma Sun 26-Feb-17 14:44:59

No getting married would not automatically give him parental rights. You have to get married and fill in the parental responsibility agreement form.

ProudBadMum Sun 26-Feb-17 14:46:00

I'd wait it out and make sur eyiir daughter fully understands. If bio dad ain't arsed he will sign papers no problem

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:48:05

Knowing bio dad from years ago I'm sure he would be difficult. His ego would get in the way I should imagine. I'll talk to dp about the marriage thing. I was just hoping the two children would have mine and dps surname once baby is born but we wouldn't be able to afford to get married in the next year or two

ProudBadMum Sun 26-Feb-17 14:48:45

You can change her name by deed poll. No need for adoption

ProudBadMum Sun 26-Feb-17 14:49:09

Don't have her adopted just for name reasons.

Somerville Sun 26-Feb-17 14:49:17

No, he doesn't automatically get PR if you get married, but it is easy to achieve afterwards - you fill in a form (click Emma's link for more info) agreeing to share PR, and have it witnessed by a court officer.
You do have to married for that.

Whilst you don't have to be married for an adoption (weird quirk of the system) you have to prove that you're in a long-term, committed relationship and marriage is the best way of proving that!
The court also has to consider whether an adoption needs to take place and something else would work better - PR or residence order.

On your Q's:
I'm not 100% but I believe that even where bio father doesn't have PR, he and his family are contacted, yes. Though if he didn't give permission it wouldn't then rule it out, as it might if he had PR.

Somerville Sun 26-Feb-17 14:50:44

Getting married is cheaper than a step-parent adoption BTW!

AnotherEmma Sun 26-Feb-17 14:52:38

Getting married doesn't have to be expensive, the only essential part is going to the registry office and getting the marriage certificate.

You might also appreciate the legal and financial protection of marriage if you're having a child together.

See www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/living-together-marriage-and-civil-partnership/living-together-and-marriage-legal-differences/

Somerville Sun 26-Feb-17 14:52:55

And seriously, you want kids together - go to a registry office and get married. For widowed parents allowance and next of kin rights, as much as anything.

Somerville Sun 26-Feb-17 14:53:28

Emma we're on a x-posting-roll here 😂

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:54:04

Oh my somerville! Presumably legal fees? Lots of hoops to jump! proudbadmum of course it's deffo not just for the name. Thanks for everyone's advice. I may go and see a family law solicitor locally and see what they say x

AnotherEmma Sun 26-Feb-17 14:54:08

Somer Indeed grin

Mamabooksbabynumber2 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:55:58

Thank you. If something happened to me would Dp automatically be able to have dd if I died but we were married? He is in my will

AnotherEmma Sun 26-Feb-17 15:00:29

If you married him and gave him parental responsibility (as explained by Somer and in the link I shared) then after your death he would still be her legal parent and therefore she would stay with him. If he didn't have PR he would have to apply to become her legal guardian, which would obviously be more complicated.

OneWithTheForce Sun 26-Feb-17 15:00:46

I'll talk to dp about the marriage thing.

Wow! I am totally baffled by the idea that you would happily legally tie your child to someone you aren't yet willing to legally tie yourself to!! shock totally shocked by this.

Surely marriage comes first. you marry him, you take the risk. Then when you are sure of your relationship with him and know it is to be permanent, only then can you think of legally tying your child to him.

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