You fathered a child who has been raised by your former girlfriend (or maybe someone you barely knew). You’ve paid child support, as you were ordered by the court to do, but you’ve had no role in that child’s life for any of a multitude of reasons. In another scenario, maybe you and your spouse divorced, and you haven’t been involved in your child’s upbringing except to provide financial support.
Now the child’s mother is getting married (or remarried). Her new spouse wants to legally adopt the child. For the new spouse to do that, you need to agree to terminate your parental rights. This can be an emotionally difficult move to make — even for people who have no relationship with their children. It’s not a decision that should be made without careful consideration.
One of the primary questions that many parents have in this situation is what giving up parental rights means for their child support obligations. If you voluntarily surrender these rights, your child support obligations will end. However, if you owe back child support, you’ll still be required to pay that.
Most people want to do what’s in the best interests of their children. If you haven’t been part of your child’s life and there’s now a stepparent who wants to be their legal parent, with all of the benefits that come with that, you may well agree not to stand in the way. However, before you stop making your child support payments, it’s essential to consult with a Tennessee family law attorney to ensure that you’re doing everything correctly and avoid any potential legal issues.