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Step Parent Adoption

Oct 21

My name is Shane Givens and I am a general practice attorney located in Centre, Alabama.  Since I opened my practice I have been presented with many questions related to everything from “why do I need a will?” to “what do I do if I am stopped by law enforcement?”  I have recently been presented the opportunity to answer some of these general questions through the Post.  For the next few weeks, I will be answering selected questions from Post readers in this column.  Please send any questions you may have to me at givenslaw@tds.net.  Please be advised, however, that any answers I may give are strictly for general informational purposes and should not be solely relied on in any legal decision-making you may have.  You always need to talk to an attorney directly concerning your situation.

   The first question I have received is: “If my child’s biological father has abandoned our child, do I have to locate him and get his permission in order for my new husband to adopt?”  I find that this situation actually comes up pretty frequently.  Ordinarily, in a step-parent adoption situation, the child’s biological father has to consent to the adoption.  However, under Alabama law, if the biological father does not offer financial and/or emotional support for a period of six months prior to the birth of the child; or has left the child without provision for support and without communication for a period of six months anytime after the birth of the child, then his consent to the step-parent adoption is not required.  Under this law, the biological father is said to have impliedly consented to the adoption by his actions.

If you find yourself in this situation, contact your lawyer for further information and to see whether this implied consent law applies.