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Relaxed, young African American couple

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We’ve all heard of instances where parents, for whatever reason, have decided to be absent from their child’s life.  This usually leaves a heavy burden on the custodial parent to raise that child by themselves.  So, when that parent decides to settle down with someone else who wants to adopt their child, do you think they should get the consent of the absent parent, or does a parent’s absence automatically give consent for that child to be adopted by the new spouse?