How does a father relinquish his parental rights for his adopted son?

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2012

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How does a father relinquish his parental rights for his adopted son?

I adopted my ex-wife’s son 17 years ago; we divorced 10 years ago. She moved with our biological daughter as well as my stepson to another state where she still resides. I paid the appropriate child support on my stepson until he turned 18. I have not had any kind of relationship or communcation with him in 10 years; he is now 24 years of age. How do I go about relinquishing my parental rights as his stepfather?

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Family Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is wonderful thing that you did adopting the child.  Once you did that he becamse your son under the law, just as your daughter is your daughter. You are NOT his step father.  You are his FATHER. So the same way you would relinquish parental rights to you daughter is the way you would relinquish parental rights to your son: by petitioning the court to do so, which is a very difficult thing. 

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