Legal Question in Family Law in California

biological father abandonment

If the biological father has not been an active role in the childs life after 2 yrs what are my rights as the mother to have his rights terminated. I have a man who would like to adopt my son but we do not know what the process is for terminating the bio-fathers rights. He hasn't paid a court ordered child support of $506 a month in over 2 yrs my son is 3 1/2 now. He has not seen my son in over 2 yrs nor made any attempt to do so. He has mailed 3 presents, 2 b-day and 1 x-mas with a letter but has made no other attempt to see him or pay for support. His mother and I keep in touch and she says she thinks he is staying away for my wishes because the last time I spoke with him I yelled at him and said never to talk to me again. I also have asked him before to relinquish his rights and he agreed but the paper I downloaded and he signed was not valid because it was not noterized.

I have full custody and I don't have to share my son right now because he doesn't try to see him but if I go to court and try to get his rights taken away so my fiance can adopt, the ex might get some kind of custody or visitation which he lives in CO and I'm in CA. I don't want to rock the boat without some knowledge of rights he has too.

Asked on 6/21/06, 4:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lyle Johnson Bedi and Johnson Attorneys at Law

Re: biological father abandonment

You did not state how long you had resided in California. There is a uniform child custody compact that, to my knowledge all states, ar a party too. This provides that a home state of a child has jurisdiction over child custody and visitation issues. If you have lived in California for 6 months or more then California may be the home state. Under California law a step-parent adoption can proceed if the other parent has not had contact with the child for 6 months. One procedure that often works well in cases of this type is to offer to forgive the past due child support, if he relinquishes his parental rights and pays the costs of the adoption. I am not familar with Colorado law and child support, other than the interest rate on unpaid child support is 12%. In California child support is due until paid and interest accrues on the unpaid child support at the rate of 10%. The amount he presently owes is over $12,144. This will give him incentive to relinquish his parental rights. As a general rule a relinquishment is valid only if there is another person available and ready to adopt the child and take on the parental responsibilities.

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Answered on 6/24/06, 12:51 am

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