Q&A From Cape Fear Family Law

Dear Cape Fear Family Law:

I was twenty, in college, and had a one-night stand.  I have a beautiful daughter from that night.  There is no father listed on her birth certificate.  I just married the love of my life and he wants to adopt her.  What do I need to do?

-Wanting to Adopt My Baby Girl



Dear Wanting to Adopt My Baby Girl:

If you know the name and location of the man who is your daughter’s biological father, then you can contact him and ask if he will consent.  If he consents then the process is a bit easier.  You are still likely to want an attorney to help you with the forms as adoption can be difficult. However, if you do not know his contact information, or have information to believe that he will not consent, then you will have to file an action to terminate his parental rights.  If you do not know where he lives now, and cannot locate him, then you will also have to serve him with a copy of the petition to terminate rights by publishing notice in a newspaper in the place where you believe he may be living or the last known location.  He will have an attorney appointed to him for the petition to terminate parental rights.  It may be a bit of a process, and you will more than likely want an attorney to help you with the filing and hearing, but your daughter’s stability and future are worth it.  We are here to help you when your past is becoming your future.

Janet Gemmell

Board Certified Family Law Specialist

Cape Fear Family Law


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