Monthly Archives: July 2013

Can a Single Mom’s Boyfriend Adopt Her Kids?

Whether a single woman’s boyfriend can adopt her children was asked on Avvo recently:

I’m a single mom – have been for five years. My kids’ father hasn’t seen or spoke to his kids in the five years that he has been gone. He doesn’t pay child support – nothing. I have a boyfriend I’ve been with for 11 months. He lives with us, helps with the kids, and my kids adore him. He is the first male figure in their lives (besides my dad and brother). Well, my boyfriend is here to stay. We have talked about him adopting the kids. He helps support them, so why not? He already treats them like they are his, provides over 50% of their support. How can we do this, and is it possible to even though he and I aren’t married?

The simple answer is yes, and it might actually assist with the termination of parental rights, if that is what the mother is seeking. However, this is an enormously complex issue with many legal and practical pitfalls, so I strongly suggested she seek specific advice from an attorney in her area.

Child Support Is a Separate Issue From Termination of Parental Rights

A recent Avvo post caught my eye, as the issue raised by the mother is one often misunderstood:

Can a father who owes $25,000 in child support see his child even though he has been absent for 12 years? The biological father of my child is seeking visitation, but has never paid child support although there is a court order, and my daughter does not want to see him.

Support and visitation are supposed to be separate issues. That said, 25k is a lot, and I expect that a judge would certainly ask what the father is doing in that department. The age of the child is the most important issue here. The child does have a say in things, but the weight of that is relatively minimal. That is, until it’s just about dispositive after 16. Anyone involved in such a situation should seek the advice of a local attorney.