In my step-parent adoption, the adoption decree signed by the judge stated that my daughter's name would be changed, and directed the state vital statistics office to re-issue her birth certificate with my husband's name on it listed as the birth father. As far as tracking a step parent adoption, it depends on the state you're in, as to whether they consider this family court with sealed records, or superior court which is public. A simple call to the county courthouse in the area where the adoption occurred would probably answer that question.
I just received an update on this situation...alas, the records are sealed and they would have to petition the judge for them...meaning they probably won't get them. Here's the scenerio: R is the biodad of an 8 y/o boy. He was paying support and had visitation from birth. However the mother did not like the fact that he had moved on and gotten married...so she would often refuse visitation...and I'm sure you've heard of similar situations. Eventually, she dissappears. It took 10 months to find her and the child...turns out she thought that, if she could prove that her son hadn't had contact with his dad in 1 year she could prove abandonment and have his rights terminated. However, she was getting child support and they found her, so it didn't work. Then comes the accusations of abuse...the biodad was supposedly abusing the son...only that investigation proved that the incidents never happened. In fact the child was not even with the biodad at the times of the alleged incidents...so if he had been abused it was by someone else. In any event, the mom got married and wanted her husband to adopt her sons (she also has another). Well R met the step-dad and said that his son needs a steady male influence, and if he wanted to raise him, he's be willing to sign consent. Consent was signed February 2004...contingent on the adoption being completed within 9 months. Fast forward to now....biomom just showed back up. She says she wants her son to know his dad. Apparently her divorce was final in December. She claims the adoptions (for both boys) were completed. She has since admitted that the adoption for the younger son did not happen becuase his father refused to consent. So now R is left trying to find out if the adoption ever happened. If it did not, his parental rights are in force...meaning he is entitled to court enforced visitation and is also responisble for child support. The child's name was not changed...but the mother says that he didn't want it changed so they completed the adoption without it. Any ideas on how to find out if this adoption was ever completed?
A simple call to the county courthouse in the area where the adoption occurred would probably answer that question.
If the adoption was completed (and this is what the biomom is asserting) then she or her attorney should have a copy of the signed order of adoption (or something similar). If the biodad is asserting that he never consented to the adoption (or it wasn't completed in the required time and therefore his consent wasn't valid) then it's up to him contest the adoption, petition to get the adoption record opened and/or correct the birth certificate with the state. Keep in mind that I'm only a guy who did his own step-parent adoption in utah and NOT an attorney (which it seems like someone will be contacting - an attorney). Tim
Name change is not required in step parent or any other type of adoption, all the party adopting has to do is advise the attorney and judge that the name will stay the same, and it will. If he was ordered to pay support by the court, then that same court should have, on file, a motion to dismiss the order due to adoption. A call to the circuit court's records office can get that info, altho all they will tell you is that a motion was filed to dismiss, they may not tell you what the motion was or the date that the motion was entered.