Your Best Defense Against That Adoption Without Consent Is to Get a Lawyer
Video Transcribed: She can find a new man and her new man can adopt your child right out from under you if you’re not careful. My name is Brian L. Jackson I am a Men’s Divorce Attorney Tulsa with Dads.Law, and today we’re going to talk about adoption without consent.
What is it and what do you need to know about it? Adoption without consent is a procedure where an individual can seek the right to adopt a child without the consent of the parents, of one parent, or the other parent.
Now, normally when you’re talking about adoption in the state of Oklahoma, adoptions invoke a federal case called Troxel v. Granville, which established the parent’s constitutional right to the care, custody, and control of his or her child. Now, the important takeaway from that is that under normal circumstances, because of that rule, if someone wants to adopt your child, they need your permission.
In other words, your consent. However, there are specific circumstances where that consent may not be necessary. Under Oklahoma law the two most common scenarios where you see an adoption without consent is in the context of a parent who has either willfully failed to pay child support for 12 out of the last 14 months prior to the filing of the petition, or a parent who has willfully failed to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child for 12 out of the last 14 months preceding the petition.
So, essentially what that means is if you’re not paying child support and you choose not to pay child support, or you’re not maintaining a relationship with your child and you choose not to maintain a relationship with your child, you could find yourself stripped of your parental rights, even if you don’t want your child adopted. And the circumstances that can lead up to this can sometimes be somewhat deceptive.
I mean, the word willful is important to keep in mind because it generally has to be intentional. I did a prior video talking about this in the context of prison.
The same is true, like for example, if she disappears off the map and has your child, and because you don’t know where to find her, you’re not paying child support, you’re not visiting. However, here’s the thing to keep in mind. If you sit on your rights and don’t do anything about that situation, the court may find that there’s willfulness because of that. And the result could be disastrous.
Another scenario that can lead to where you don’t have contact with your child, and it could create a situation that can set up grounds for adoption without consent is if a protective order is entered. Some folks are under the mistaken impression that if there’s a protective order in place, you can’t … because you’re court-ordered under criminal penalty, not to have contact with your child, that that’s not willful failure to maintain a relationship.
The unfortunate thing is, and I don’t necessarily personally agree with this rule, but this is, in fact, the rule, there was a case on that exact issue where the court found that because the individual engaged in bad behavior to get the protective order. And that was a stalking case, he could not later use that protective order as a defense to adoption without consent. So what I’m saying here guys is this is a good reason why if you’re facing that protective order, or if she decides to take your child and abscond, you need to take action immediately.
Your best defense against that adoption without consent is to get a lawyer, get a lawyer, get a lawyer and fight her and get after it fast because that is an emergency. And it can end with you losing your rights to your child.
She could effectively excise you out of your child’s life and replace you with whichever random dude she decides she wants to make daddy now. So understand that and if you’re dealing with one of these situations, or if you’re looking at getting blocked off, as I talked about previously, get someone involved, get after it fast.
Don’t wait until you’re facing an adoption petition and adoption without consent hearing to assert your rights. Because by that point, it may be too late. Now, if you’re facing this kind of situation and you need help, you should go to Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable. Thanks, guys.