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Want to adopt my wife's daughter aged 5, who was conceived during an extra marital afair. Local council say we must tell (our) daughter i'm not her dad before we start the process. Is this true and why?


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Why do you want to adopt her? If you go down that route, you will have to tell her that you adopted her and how would you explain it.


There is the view that everyone is entitled to know who their parents are, there are practical reasons, such as medical histories to be taken into account.


By the way, if you are bringing this child up, you are her dad in all the ways that really matter. And you should not feel otherwise.


Telling her would be difficult but you could look for advice on the best way to approach it.


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I think it would be a good idea to tell her....if you adopt her she will find out at some point and the younger the child, usually the easier it is for them to process it....finding out later, say in her teens, can be extremely tricky.


In terms of adopting her, why do you want to take this route? Is her biological father named on the birth certificate? What difference will it really make? Do you realised your wife/her mother will also need to adopt her - effectively she has to give up her parental rights as a birth parent and then have them reinstated as an adoptive parent.


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I those it best to adopt incase something happens to her mum. No the biological dad is not on the birth certificate. Our real concern is if her mum dies or is incapable of looking after her I would loose my daughter too. Our concerns regarding telling her is a. She won't understand. B. She will tell all and sundry a closely kept private matter.


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but why would you lose your daughter? If no one ekse knows who would challenge you anyway? Your wife could make a will naming you as the legal guardian in the event of her death.


Regardless of whether you pursue adoption or not I do think you have to confront the issue of telling your daughter her biological origins. These things have a way of coming out, often when you least expect it and can be very damaging. How would you feel if your mum told you now that your dad wasn't your biological father?

Is your name on her birth certifcate, if not, when she sees that she will have questions about why,

better to be honest with her, you don't have to tell her it all at once. You can start by talking about different types of families, Todd Parr books are great.

Many adopters tell their children their stories are not secret but private. Start small and build up


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It would be highly unusual for your daughter not to stay with you in the event of something terrible happening to your wife, especially if no-one else is named on the birth certificate. If you want to be sure, as Serrakunda says, your wife can write a will naming you as legal guardian.


However, I still think it would be better for your daughter to know the truth sooner rather than later....the longer you leave it the harder it is for you to explain and for her to deal with it. At 5 it doesn't need to be a big deal....but growing up with it is far easier than it being a surprise later. Use film/books to bring up the subject and make comparisons...."that's like you"


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Is it true that you have been her father as long as she can remember? In that case I too would want to adopt her, I do not trust ss and you never know what they're up to when a crisis hits. They might start assessments this in itself is stressfull. Tell her I'm your daddy but we need to make this more official because my name is not on your birth certificate. Yes she might have the right to know but a five year old does not need to know details, and if you have parented her you're her dad. There is no need to force feed this information into her, I would stay a bit vague. But ofcourse if she's older answer her questions truthfully. Succes, and play the game right, you have. to do what they want but do it your way!


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Surely if you start the adoption process the birth father would have to be consullted which could open a whole can of worms. Does he know about his child ? What are his views? He may choose to not give up his rights and it would need the judge to decide the fathers rights as legal parent can be removed . Another thing to consider as you move forward.

As others have said the chances of your daughter being removed are v unlikely if anything happened to your wife but i can understand why you want it all sorted legally.


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Wizzy, if the birth father is not names on the birth certificate he would not need to be consulted as he has no parental rights....


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Ah ok didnt know that. Thanks Bop


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If you're wanting to ensure you have the legal right to care for her in the event something happens to your wife in the future, you could have your wife appoint you as a testamentary guardian?


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As with 'forced' adoption, the Court would want to know that attempts had been made to locate and give notice of proposed adoption proceedings to BF as adoption would extinguish his legal rights (whilst not being named on the birth certificate, a birth father could acquire those rights either by agreement or court order). So, as indicated above, this could trigger an interest in the child and him seeking contact, a PR Order and opposition to an adoption order. You could consider applying jointly for a residence Order (which would give you PR) but again, birth father would have to be given notice. The other option is testamentary guardian as above: there is fairly recent caselaw where the court decided that the child should live with the chosen guardian and not birth parent (but caselaw is a moving feast).


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