What is the process of getting parental rights signed over?

My son’s dad hasn’t been in my son’s life for a few years, even tho we have 50/50 custody. He uses to be when he was 1, but not anymore. He turns five this year. My son’s dad has paid child support in the past but is now almost 12k behind. He’s paid occasionally but never more than like $100 at a time. I’ve been thinking about asking him to release his parent’s rights, but I don’t know how to bring it up to him. My fiancé and I are planning to get married soon, and he wants to adopt my son as soon as we get settled (we moved states, yes I told my sons dad about the move and he was okay with it). For mommas who have been through this. How was the process of signing over parent rights?


Talk to a lawyer for your state.

What state? I don’t have any info but me & my fiancé are currently in a similar situation with his 3 small kiddos

All states have certain laws but in Louisiana i had very little issue carrying out an intrafamily adoption, even with the bio father contesting it!

The father would have to sign his rights over and your fiancée when y’all marry would have to adopt. If he’s willing to do so it’s a pretty simple procedure but it will require a lawyer and a few thousand dollars.

Some states, 1. its up to a judge. Because as long as he’s paying child support. Still considered having rights. 2. Other states, they’d consider him abandoning the child. So yes you can have his rights takes away. 3. In others, you just have to sit in front of a lawyer and sign papers, as long as he agrees. And thats it. You’d have to reach out to a lawyer to find out the laws.

According to my lawyer, Ohio you can’t sign the rights away because that gives the other patent the ability to go to the state for more cash assistance and they want to avoid that…

Wait until you are married for a couple of years. Work on him signing his rights over during that time. 2 years of marriage before the step parent can adopt is the law in my state. Let his arrearages rack up. That’s his problem.


Talk to the father and see how he feels. If he is willing to sign it over then its easy.

Not easy. Especially if he says no.
Also a lot of states will not even entertain adoption unless you have been married a few years.

All states have certain laws… but IF he agrees to it that is a good step forward and then you can also tell the judge your soon to be husband wants to adopt him…

In WI it’s almost impossible unless he wants too AND you have to have someone willing to stand up and take responsibility…even abandonment isn’t grounds for termination …the legal system is very broken


When i talked to a lawyer he said could cost upwards 10k because the state wont let him sign off if he owes money to the state so i would have to pay that and lawyers fees and that is if he dont fight.

1 Like

Thats in MI. Also you have to sign off all support he owes you.

You know the moment you mention adoption he’ll wanna play a role.


After a year, it’s usually considered abandonment. In my state, custody and child support are separate and you could get 100% custody and he’d still have to pay child support until adoption. Good luck.


After you are married your husband could file for a step parent adoption.

1 Like

Depending on the state, you would have to be married and stepdad would have to adopt. And you’d have to be married for a certain length of time. In Ohio it’s 6 months.

He can sign away his rights but he will still be financially responsible

If he signs over his rights he no longer had to pay child support.

A lot of deadbeat father’s won’t sign over their rights :roll_eyes:


You generally have to be married for minimum 1 year before judges will allow even uncontested adoptions. My husband had to wait until we were married a full year before we could even request even with ex willing

1 Like

How long ago did you move out of state? I would assume it’s hard to see your kid if the other parent moves out of state.

I would sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with him and explain the situation and maybe he will agree to it even if you have to drop all the back child support

Depending on your states laws 6 months is abandonment in my state. You can hire a lawyer and have his rights terminated if a judge sees that the child’s life would be better with or without him in it, generally 6 months of abandonment and the judge will see the child is better off without the parent that abandoned the child. Even if the dad disagrees to sign over his rights a judge can still terminate the father’s rights as long as that’s what’s in the child’s best interest… as far as adoption i know in my state you have to be married one year before you can petition for your husband to adopt your child.

I have 100% parental rights but my ex husband still pays child support for both our sons.

He barley checks in and my current husband has talked about adopting my oldest 2 boys. However I know their bio dad would never agree to it.

I’m in FL and he would have to give the ok since he signed both birth certificates. It would be a whole court issue. Im not sure on cost tbh because my divorce and everything was payed for.

Usually have to be married 2 years. Mine owes me 30,000. How long u been with this guy ? He will be responsible if u divorce. Not the real dad

Ugh. U can’t terminate rights over a petty reason. Get over it and move on with your life


Get a lawyer. You will have to forfeit any child support including back support. Bio dad will have to sign away his rights before your husband can adopt.

Usually you have to be married a certain amount of time for your husband to adopt. You wouldn’t be terminating his rights. He’d be sign them over to your husband. You’ll need a lawyer.

Right now if petition the court to change custody. Tell the judge he hasn’t been exercising his custody so you want full custody. Bring in any proof you have.