Published on:

Stepfather Seeks to Adopt Child


A man and a woman fell in love in 1976. They moved in together for five years. And their relationship produced a daughter. During this time, the couple used and dealt drugs. Both of them were apprehended and charged with possession of controlled substances. A New York Family Lawyer said the woman pleaded guilty and was put on probation. Since that time, she has been drug-free.

Her husband was imprisoned but was later released on parole. While on parole, he became a fugitive. He left New York and could not be located. He called his wife after a few months and asked her to leave New York and travel to Chicago, Illinois to join him there. The wife refused because it would be breaking the conditions of her probation and it would endanger the life of her daughter. From that time the woman had not had any contact with her husband.

While they were together, the husband supported their child intermittently because his work as a painter was intermittent. When her husband became a fugitive the support ended. The woman was forced to get a job and move in with her mother who took care of her baby while she was away at work.

The wife eventually met another man with whom she fell in love. She married the man, a former drug addict like herself but they have both been drug-free for years. They have been living together as husband and wife and they have their own apartment. They have raised the woman’s daughter together in the absence of the woman’s first husband who was the biological father of her child. The woman and her legal husband now filed a joint petition for the adoption of her natural child. It was her prayer that her second husband, her legal husband be declared the adoptive parent of her natural child as he was the one who had helped her raise their child.

Years later, the woman’s first husband was arrested in the state of Oregon. Once he was arrested, New York asked for his extradition to New York to serve the remainder of his sentence. A New York Custody Lawyer said at the time that the woman filed her adoption petition, the biological father of her child was serving out his prison sentence in New York. He opposed the adoption and seeks visitation rights. He also asserted his right to give consent to the adoption of his biological daughter.

The wife countered the opposition of her first husband to the petition for adoption by submitting into evidence a letter she received in the mail from her first husband where he expressed his regret at having been absent from his daughter’s life and wish not to re-enter her life. A Queens Family Lawyer said his only request in that letter was that he be given a photograph of his daughter from time to time so that he can at least see how she is growing up. In this letter, he asked his wife’s pardon for having abandoned them when he became a fugitive and by failing to provide for their support.

The only question in this case is whether or not the consent of the imprisoned biological father is necessary for this adoption.

The Court held that the law will not curtail the right of the biological father to give or withdraw his consent to the adoption of his biological child only for the reason that he is incarcerated or imprisoned. Imprisonment is an act of the State when it enforces the law which cannot serve to automatically deprive a father of his parental rights. However, the father in this case was not imprisoned merely because of a crime he committed. He was imprisoned because he decided to become a fugitive from justice. In so doing, he has abandoned his daughter and has not supported her nor even communicated with her. A Queens Child Support Lawyer said he himself by his act has removed himself out of his biological daughter’s life and so his consent to her adoption by the legal husband of the biological mother is no longer required.

Are you seeking to adopt the biological daughter of your spouse? You need the advice of a New York Family Lawyer. A New York City family attorney will guide you not only in presenting the facts of your case but also in gathering evidence. Come and visit the offices of Stephen Bilkis and Associates and speak with any of the NYC Family Lawyers on their staff. They are eager to help you with the adoption proceedings. The NY Family Lawyers from Stephen Bilkis and Associates can represent you.

Contact Information