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Step parent adoption

149 replies

Usernameinvalid16 · 03/10/2022 21:51

I posted this on the adoption thread but there was no replies.

I was looking for some advice with a step parent adoption. We are in Scotland.


My partner wishes to adopt my DD8. Her biological father is not on her birth certificate and has had no contact with her since she was 2.


However, he recently got into contact through a lawyer and wishes to have contact again and is taking the matter to court. Would this impact the adoption procedures when we start them? I know we have to continue the court case legally until we have officially started our adoption procedure.


If anyone could help us out with the length of time the adoption could take and what steps we need to take that would be greatly appreciated.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Readinginthesun · 03/10/2022 22:13

As far as I know your child’s biological father would have to give consent unless a Court rules otherwise .
Also you have to be married , in a Civil Partnership or in a long and established relationship.
A friend’s daughter is in this situation so I have gleaned a little information .
Hopefully a lawyer will come along with proper advice and terminology .

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Usernameinvalid16 · 04/10/2022 06:34

That’s great. We live together at the minute and have been together about 2 years now. Would this considered a long term relationship?

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cravattwat · 04/10/2022 06:53

As you don't even live together it's hugely premature for you to be thinking about him adopting your child.

Who is driving this and why? He doesn't need to be her legal parent to be involved in her life.

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cravattwat · 04/10/2022 06:54

Apologies, I read that as don't live together.
It's early.

Still though, it's only been two years so I do think it's too soon.

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Thehop · 04/10/2022 06:58

I don’t think a 2 year Co habiting relationship would be seen as a serious relationship in terms of adoption, I’m afraid.

you may have to pay for a solicitor appointment for better guidance.

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MayThe4th · 04/10/2022 06:59

The biological father would have to give consent.

tbh though, I wouldn’t let a man I’d only been with for 2 years adopt my child. It’s far too soon, and if things don’t work out he would have pr which cannot be undone.

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UmbilicusProfundus · 04/10/2022 07:00

Agree with others that this feels far too soon!

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Usernameinvalid16 · 04/10/2022 07:39

Thank you. I wasn’t sure how it would work since her bio dad has had no contact for many years now. I know it feels far too soon for many of you and I guess I am worried about handing over half of my rights but he understands the implications of this.

Does her bio dad have to give consent even though he isn’t named on the birth certificate?

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TeenDivided · 04/10/2022 07:45

You know who her biological father is. He is even applying for contact.
He would need to give consent.
Courts won't terminate his legal relationship with his daughter without his consent.
I also think that 2 years is not nearly long enough to be going through this step.

Not sure about the rules in Scotland but maybe your partner could apply for parental responsibility or similar which would mean he could make decisions in your absence eg health needs?

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anotherdayanotherpathlesstravelled · 04/10/2022 07:50

Sorry 2 years is far too soon - without being flippant I have food in my cupboard that have been around longer. I'm a single parent and honestly I'd feel slightly uncomfortable as to why someone would want to adopt my child so quickly? If you've only been together 2 years how long have you actually cohabited? You're not married and TBH I wouldn't consider it a stable enough tried and tested relationship to make such a huge decision for my child?

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Wibbly1008 · 04/10/2022 07:53

in England he would be asked for his consent and if this is a no, a court would ask the local authority to write a report about your family. A childrens guardian will also be appointed so your child would have legal representation. Then the guardian will write a report too. They might recommend adoption , they might not, depending on your circumstances and views of the child.

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Usernameinvalid16 · 04/10/2022 07:54

I just wanted to be 100% sure that they would need his consent.

A parental responsibility order sounds like it would be the best thing just now.

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strawberry2017 · 04/10/2022 07:57

I wouldn't be letting someone I had only been with for 2 years adopt my child unless I was married and there was commitment.
Tbh I think it will come across that you are doing it to stop the bio dad having any control.
The timing isn't great.

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Starlightstarbright1 · 04/10/2022 07:59

Tbh.. regardless of the legalities.. He wants contact..so isn't going to want Dd adopted..

You need to work out comtact before even considering adoption.

In England Dads are allowed to dip and out of a childs life.. courts would just agree to contact again.. not sure on scottish law.

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ArtofWater · 04/10/2022 08:28

Step parent adoptions used to be be fairly common years ago but are a lot less so now as other options to secure children are available. For a step parent adoption you would need the fathers consent even if he is not in contact - courts can dispense with this but only in very exceptional circumstances and what you have described would not be considered exceptional. Adoption is permanent - you would be listed as adoptive mother on the new birth certificate and if you and your partner were to split, then he would have equal rights to your daughter, she would not revert to being 'yours', so definitely something to think hard about. It may be appropriate for your partner to gain parental responsibility for your DD, this would enable him to be involved in decision making , able to consent to medical treatment etc and would also offer some security in the event something happened to you. It would be worth you both seeking legal advice so you understand the options available and the implications of these.

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FirstAidKitNowPlease · 04/10/2022 08:38

Starlightstarbright1 · 04/10/2022 07:59

Tbh.. regardless of the legalities.. He wants contact..so isn't going to want Dd adopted..

You need to work out comtact before even considering adoption.

In England Dads are allowed to dip and out of a childs life.. courts would just agree to contact again.. not sure on scottish law.

I'd agree with this.
Let the bio dad contact play out. Has he gone for court initially or have you pushed back and forced his hand?

Court is messy and painful and expensive and if you can avoid it perhaps with mediation or another approach id suggest it.

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MayThe4th · 04/10/2022 09:48

Tbh I wish people wouldn’t keep trotting out the line that not putting the father on the birth certificate makes any difference. It doesn’t.

Yes, if he started pitching up at school demanding to have a say and he’s not yet on the BC then he wouldn’t have that right. But if he goes to court then he will almost certainly be put on the BC, be given PR, and access.

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Icanstillrecallourlastsummer · 04/10/2022 09:52

Why are you legally binding your child to a partner you aren't even yourself legally bound to? And after only 2 years? This seems very rushed.

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TheGoodFighter · 04/10/2022 09:54

You can't even have been living together long....no court is going to approve this adoption.

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Quitelikeit · 04/10/2022 09:59

You don’t know this man after two years although it is nice for you I’m sure that he wants to adopt your daughter

yes you need permission from the bio father and by the sounds of it that is going to be very difficult

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cravattwat · 04/10/2022 10:02

@Usernameinvalid16 can I ask why you feel this is needed for your child? What's the benefit for them and are they driving this?

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sculpturecity · 04/10/2022 10:06

ArtofWater · 04/10/2022 08:28

Step parent adoptions used to be be fairly common years ago but are a lot less so now as other options to secure children are available. For a step parent adoption you would need the fathers consent even if he is not in contact - courts can dispense with this but only in very exceptional circumstances and what you have described would not be considered exceptional. Adoption is permanent - you would be listed as adoptive mother on the new birth certificate and if you and your partner were to split, then he would have equal rights to your daughter, she would not revert to being 'yours', so definitely something to think hard about. It may be appropriate for your partner to gain parental responsibility for your DD, this would enable him to be involved in decision making , able to consent to medical treatment etc and would also offer some security in the event something happened to you. It would be worth you both seeking legal advice so you understand the options available and the implications of these.

This is quite chilling, re the adoption being permanent so never could be undone even if you split up.
OP 2 years is nothing. Even you don't have a legally binding relationship with your partner. Do not give half of your DD away to him. Not yet. It's wonderful that he wants to be her dad but the stakes are far too high if anything goes wrong.

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GreyTCat · 04/10/2022 10:08

I guess I am worried about handing over half of my rights but he understands the implications of this.
Do you understand the implications though? The risks outweigh the benefits (in fact what are the benefits? I’m struggling to come up with any?).
Ten years maybe, 2 years... no way.

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Adelyra · 04/10/2022 10:19

As a stepchild, this gives me the heebie jeebies.

Multiple studies show children with stepfathers are at greater risk of abuse. It's called the Cinderella effect.

Does your DD want to be adopted?

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Aprilx · 04/10/2022 10:31

You might be doing your daughter a far better service by working things through with her bio father and seeing if they can build a relationship. Rather than by legally binding her to a man you are not even yourself bound to and even if you were could unbind yourself relatively easily. What are you even thinking of? You are making this all about you not your daughter.

I am puzzled you are even wondering if her bio father has a say, presumably you think you would be entitled to have a say if he suggested his latest girlfriend adopt her.

As an aside my best friend met someone when her baby was a few months old. They went on to marry and he eventually adopted the child when she was about 7 or 8 I think, with the bio fathers permission. They divorced twenty years later, so child an adult by now but guess what, he wanted nothing to do with her and only kept in contact with the daughter they shared. Her bio father has generally not been in the picture during her life but he keeps in touch.

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