Tom McCutcheon – Adoption Questions

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Thomas McCutcheon

Thomas McCutcheon


Q:        I married a lady with a 2 year old child 6 years ago.  The birth certificate has no father listed.  The father has no contact with the child and never has.  The child goes by my name and only knows me as her father.  I am told that I could just have my name put on her birth certificate and not go through all of the adoption process.  Could there by any problem in doing this if so, what?

A Loyal Reader

Tuscumbia, AL


A:         No, you can’t do this without proving paternity.  However, the state provides a method of adoption in cases where a stepparent may adopt a child without the formal adoption process required when a married couple adopts an unrelated child.  Stepparent adoptions give the child all the rights and benefits of a biological child including rights of inheritance.  It also imposes upon the adoptive parent the responsibility to pay child support in the event the parties later divorce.


Stepparent adoptions are very easy to accomplish when the biological father is known and consents.  It can also be done if the biological father can not be found.  In that event, service of process can be obtained through publication.


A stepparent adoption can never be done if the biological parent objects.


A stepparent adoption as provided for under state code is not a difficult legal process with the biological parent’s consent.  However, one must realize that when a child is adopted that child becomes yours forever.  This is not a matter to be undertaken lightly.


I admire stepparents who understand the duties and obligations of adoption and go forward to cement the family relationship.


A stepparent adoption requires that the stepparent be in the home for 18 months, have a good parental relationship with the child and the biological parent’s consent.


If these conditions are met, this process usually takes about 60 days to complete and a new birth certificate to be issued.


Buckle up and drive safely.

McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C.

Speak With An Attorney 24/7

877 837-4878

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1 comment

fauxclaud September 20, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Don’t forget that one the adoption is finalized and the new birth certificate is issued, the original birth certificate will be forever more sealed by the state.

In cases, such as this where the child is over the age of one, later on in life he or she may have difficulty getting a passport or proving identity. Post 911 Homeland Security flags all BC’s that are issued more than one year after birth as this one will be. The child will forever more, even as an adult, denied the right to access his or her OBC and is discriminated against due to their adopted status.

Learn more at and how you can help change these out dates sealed records laws.


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