If I am not the biological father do I have any rights if I am in California? 6 Answers as of April 15, 2011

We have found out that my wife’s ex just established paternity to one of our children. Does the biological dad have more rights than a non-biological father? I have been my daughters life since she was born, and her real father has not. Can he do anything to remove my rights?

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Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
You can absolutely establish parental rights. If fact, if the child is more than 2 years old, you are the legal father, and can defeat the biological father's position here. This is a complex area of law, and if you do not fight the biological father, you may lose by default. Take formal legal action now to protect your legal rights.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2011
Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
Depending on how long you have been parenting the child, you may or may not have any rights. In either event, your wife will have rights as the mother and the biological father will only now be asking form some sort of visitation that he may or may not get based on the best interests of the child. Get an attorney for you and for your wife to handle this important and complex issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
The short answer is that if you have been part of the child's life since she was born (as you stated in your question), a court would likely not issue orders that would sever or harm that child-adult bond.

Based on the facts you stated, you and the child's mother seem to have been raising the child as a family unit. The court will not break up an established family unit (assuming there is nothing objectively harmful to the child as part of the family situation). However, the biological dad may gain certain visitation and custody rights as part of the paternity action, depending on other facts not stated in your question. What custody orders were established or requested as part of the paternity case? Best to call a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular details of your situation to learn how best to proceed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
It may be difficult or impossible if the biological father voluntarily went through the process of establishing paternity. However, if the biological father knew where the mother and children were, and neither provided support for the children nor contacted or made any effort to see the children for over one year, you may be able to terminate the biological father's parental rights in a proceeding to adopt the children.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
If their biological father was found to be the father of the children, then your rights will only flow from those held by your wife. You have no separate rights at this time. That said, if you have always been the father, then paternity may have been improperly established for the biological father. I can assist you with this matter. Please contact me for a free consultation if you are in my area.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/13/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    You may be considered the presumptive father, however there are several factors which must first be established with the courts. Please contact our office so that we can better assist you in your particular case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
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