When my daughter was in college she met this deadbeat guy and they unfortunately had a kid together. The guy has shown absolutely no interest in the child’s life. My daughter has since graduated from college, has a good job, and is now engaged. The child is three now and she wants to terminate the biological father’s rights to the child so her soon-to-be husband can adopt the child. Is this possible? How do you recommend going about this.
In short, it is possible for your daughter’s fiancé to adopt her child when she gets married and terminate the biological father’s rights to the child.
In general, Kansas law does not favor termination of parental rights. In fact, if your daughter was not getting married, it would be very difficult for her to terminate the father’s rights to the child. If the father tried to exercise his rights to the child under those circumstances, a court would make an assessment of the amount of parenting time the father should get based on what is best for the child.
Kansas law does allow, however, for termination of parental rights under limited circumstances. Stepparent adoption is one potential avenue to terminate a biological father’s rights to his children.
In this situation, your daughter’s future husband would serve as the stepparent adopting your daughter’s child. If the biological father would consent to the adoption this would be the quickest manner in which to complete the adoption. The consent must be properly executed to be effective.
Absent consent by the biological father, a court could still terminate his rights and allow for the completion of the adoption. K.S.A. section 59-2136 provides for a court determination whether a father has failed to assume the duties of a parent for a period preceding the filing of the petition for adoption. If the father has failed to provide any financial support for a two-year period prior to the adoption petition and has failed to have any meaningful relationship with the child, a rebuttable presumption will be established that the father is not fit to assume the duties of a parent for the child.
The father must fail on both the financial support and the emotional support of the child. Failing in one is not enough. It may make some difference whether the biological father was ever determined legally to be the child’s father.
Once the adoption is finalized, the adoptive parent has full rights to the adopted child and for all purposes the child gets the same rights as a biological child of the adoptive parent. For instance, the birth certificate can be changed to identify the adoptive parent as the father of the child and the child can inherit from the adoptive parent.