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Stepparent Adoption - Montana - Texas

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  • Stepparent Adoption - Montana - Texas

    In 2002, my ex-husband told a marriage councillor that he had been molesting our daughter (then 10), and had allowed our son to witness the abuse. He moved out of our home, enrolled himself in a treatment program, and reported himself to the police to show that he knew he had a problem and wanted to get help for himself (I think that the primary goal in self reporting was to lessen his punishment. At one point he told me that if he knew what would happen, he would never have said anything about the abuse to the councillor).

    I took my daughter to see a therapist to help her deal with the fallout. The therapist felt that it would be okay for my daughter to recieve some very limited contact with her father, letters or monitered phone calls, so his lawyer filed a request and my ex-husband got permission to write and call our children. My daughter knew that she was in control of the contact and could at anytime say that she did not want to talk to him or read his letters.

    In our divorce there is no visitation, only phone and letter contact (IF they want contact), and I have sole legal and physical custody of the children. The wording is that if he wants visitation, he must file for it. CS has been occasionally late, but never long enough for me to whinge about it (I know that others have much more trouble getting it, I don't want to burden the state with tracking down a month or two or arrerage)

    My ex-husband was recently paroled and mentioned that he wanted to come out and visit the children. Once he mentioned that intention, my daughter no longer wants to talk to him. From talking to her, I get the idea that she has a much better understanding of the magnitude of what her father did to her now than when she was 10 (abuse started when she was about 6. Hindsight kills me now, thinking of all the odd little things that should have made sense...but who wants to think that sort of thing about your husband - that happens in other homes not mine...doesn't it?) My son rarely wants to speak with him, but I think that is more a result of not knowing his father anymore than anything else.

    I have remarried, 18 months ago, to a wonderful man, whom the kids adore. He'd love to adopt them, and the children would like him to-they were rather miffed that they did not automatically become his kids when we married. I see in the Montana statues that in cases of abuse or where a parent has abused the sibling of a child that the offending parent could have his parental rights terminated without agreeing to it. Is that only the case when the state is moving a child into foster care or can that be applied in the case of a divorced parent with a stepparent wanting to adopt?

    We are planning a move to Texas soon. Knowing the glacial speed at which these sorts of things move, I think I might need a hint on how Texas looks at things.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Quandry View Post
    In 2002, my ex-husband told a marriage councillor that he had been molesting our daughter (then 10), and had allowed our son to witness the abuse. He moved out of our home, enrolled himself in a treatment program, and reported himself to the police to show that he knew he had a problem and wanted to get help for himself (I think that the primary goal in self reporting was to lessen his punishment. At one point he told me that if he knew what would happen, he would never have said anything about the abuse to the councillor).

    I took my daughter to see a therapist to help her deal with the fallout. The therapist felt that it would be okay for my daughter to recieve some very limited contact with her father, letters or monitered phone calls, so his lawyer filed a request and my ex-husband got permission to write and call our children. My daughter knew that she was in control of the contact and could at anytime say that she did not want to talk to him or read his letters.

    In our divorce there is no visitation, only phone and letter contact (IF they want contact), and I have sole legal and physical custody of the children. The wording is that if he wants visitation, he must file for it. CS has been occasionally late, but never long enough for me to whinge about it (I know that others have much more trouble getting it, I don't want to burden the state with tracking down a month or two or arrerage)

    My ex-husband was recently paroled and mentioned that he wanted to come out and visit the children. Once he mentioned that intention, my daughter no longer wants to talk to him. From talking to her, I get the idea that she has a much better understanding of the magnitude of what her father did to her now than when she was 10 (abuse started when she was about 6. Hindsight kills me now, thinking of all the odd little things that should have made sense...but who wants to think that sort of thing about your husband - that happens in other homes not mine...doesn't it?) My son rarely wants to speak with him, but I think that is more a result of not knowing his father anymore than anything else.

    I have remarried, 18 months ago, to a wonderful man, whom the kids adore. He'd love to adopt them, and the children would like him to-they were rather miffed that they did not automatically become his kids when we married. I see in the Montana statues that in cases of abuse or where a parent has abused the sibling of a child that the offending parent could have his parental rights terminated without agreeing to it. Is that only the case when the state is moving a child into foster care or can that be applied in the case of a divorced parent with a stepparent wanting to adopt?

    We are planning a move to Texas soon. Knowing the glacial speed at which these sorts of things move, I think I might need a hint on how Texas looks at things.
    Have you asked ex about voluntarily relinquishing his rights? Sometimes it helps when a NCP is reminded that they will no longer have to pay CS. If you weren't on any public assistance you can also use the arrears as a bargaining tool, tell him you'll forgive arrears if he agrees to TPR and allow adoption.

    If he doesn't agree, it seems that you'd have an excellant case for forcing a TPR. Get a consult with a family law attorney who is knowledgeable about involuntary TPRs and step parent adoptions.

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