A woman recently posted on Avvo:
I divorced my husband because of abuse. My daughter is 4½, and he hasn’t visited her since she was one (court-ordered supervised visits). He also hasn’t paid his court-ordered support in approximately three years. How do I go about getting him to sign off on his rights?
As we’ve noted before, this is a very common misconception: Payment of support is actually a separate issue from termination of parental rights (TPR). The woman in question could “TPR” her ex-husband and still collect. That said, she might use non-payment (and most certainly abandonment) as evidence for a TPR.
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.