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Marine Adopts Step-Daughter with Volunteer Legal Help

December 2, 2016

A Marine had a three year-old step-daughter whose biological father had no connection with the child since her birth. The servicemember’s wife was never married to the biological father who was believed to be residing outside the country, and his whereabouts was unknown.  The Marine wished to adopt the child so the ABA Military Pro Bono Project quickly referred him to an experienced pro bono attorney in his jurisdiction who was able to assist the servicemember with navigating the adoption process. The Marine’s attorney was able to draft a petition to terminate the parental rights of the biological father, make the necessary attempts to serve the biological father with the petition, arrange a social worker’s interview of the family and appear at adoption proceedings in court for the servicemember. Ultimately, with the generous assistance of his attorney, the Marine was able to adopt his step-child and return to his military duties with the knowledge that his relationship with his daughter was legally established and she would now have a father in her life.

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