What can I do if my ex won’t let my new partner adopt our child?
When a couple gets divorced and the proceeding is finalized, they are free to enter into relationships with other people or find a new partner. Obviously your ex will not have a say in this situation.
But things become more complicated if a child is involved. You and your ex may find new partners and wish to adopt your child. This is to make child support or parental rights and responsibilities simpler. And, of course, to allow the child to have a complete family with two parent figures.
Is this set up possible?
If you and your new partner want to adopt your child, it is possible to do so as long as you have met the requirements provided by law. These differ from State to State, but generally, you would need to be married for a specific duration and have legal custody of the child. If these criteria are met, you can file a petition for adoption in a family court.
It is required, however, that the co-parent — your ex, consents to the adoption. Regardless of their role in custody or the exercise of parental rights, they must be given notice of petition for adoption.
If your ex consents, his or her parental rights will be terminated. He or she will no longer have any say in matters involving the child and will no longer be in the position to make parental decisions. But in some cases, visitation arrangements can be secured for the consenting parent.
What if my ex doesn’t consent?
It is not uncommon for your ex to express his disagreement with the stepparent adoption. Especially if they have a close-knit relationship with the child, they may not wish for the termination of their parental rights and responsibilities.
If they do not give their consent, they may contest the petition for adoption where they will lay down their position and reasons why they are contesting. The court will take their motion seriously, even if they have not been involved in raising the child. They still have legal rights as a parent.
The best thing for you to do is to hire a lawyer who can help you with your adoption petition. This procedure should be navigated carefully, especially if your ex decides to contest it.