What are my child custody rights? 29 Answers as of August 05, 2011

I'm in the military and I just recently had a dna test to determine im the father of a little 2 year old girl. Her mother wants to give the child up for adoption but I do not want to give up my parental rights if I have any.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You need to commence a paternity action.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Retain an experienced Family Law Attorney in the county in which your daughter resides, to file a Paternity case and seek child custody, without delay.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/23/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
So long as there has not been a termination of your parental rights, you can refuse to give the child up for adoption. But, if mother is going to try, you should have plans in place to be able to take your child in and care for her.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/20/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
If you have a DNA test proving you are the father then you can petition the Court for custody of your daughter if the mother wants to give her up for adoption.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/20/2011
Osterman Law LLC
Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
Way too many issues for discussion here. You need to see a lawyer fast. You are sitting on a time bomb and the court can destroy your rightsso use them and get involved! Wait too long and the judge will take those rights away. Courts only protect people that practice their rights.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/20/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    You need to establish rights to the child if this has not already been done. You would need to file a paternity action in the county where the child currently lives requesting custody and full placement given the circumstances. If you are not in a position to be a full-time parent, you may want to consider the adoption option as you only share "rights" to a child when another person also wants to exercise their rights. If she is thinking adoption, she is not planning to care for the child long-term.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    If you were found to be the father you have rights that you can enforce.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You will need to be notified of any court proceedings to terminate your parental rights. You will have the opportunity to get custody of the child. This e-mail is covered under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC 2510-2521, and is legally privileged. The information contained in this e-mail is intended only for use of the individual or entity named above. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    You need to immediately file a Paternity action in order to establish your legal rights. Time is of the essence, as if you do not establish your rights legally and the adoption goes through, then there won't be anything you can do at that point. You should also register with the Putative Father's registry in Tallahassee. I believe the application can be filled out on line if you just google Florida Putative Father Registry. You should also hire an attorney to assist you in this matter, in order to properly protect both you and your child's rights. Additionally, if she is talking about adoption, you may be entitled to custody. An attorney can assist you with all of these issues.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Your first step is to legitimate the child so you have rights and can object to an adoption. Until you legitimate the child, you have no rights to the child.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Presuming Nevada law applies - you do not submit enough facts to verify this - you have essentially the same rights as the mother, if you choose to exercise them. Time is important.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Unless you have legitimized the child (or file to do so) AND respond to the adoption petition in time, you have no say. If you want to do those things, get counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
    The DNA test results will be a critical factor in determining your rights and/or obligations. 401 Divorce
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    As the situation stands, you have no rights. The law is specific: until order of the court, the unmarried mother is the sole residential and custodial parent. Many adoptions take place because the mother will say she either does not know who the father is or where the father is. If you want to be a part of the child's life (including payment of child support) you must see a family law attorney quickly. You may then assert your rights including the right to parent the child in place of the mother.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    You may seek to request custody of the child. If the mother does not want to have the child, then she may consent to your having sole custody of the child. You should file a paternity action immediately if you have not so that no adoption proceedings can be commenced without your consent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law you should file a parentage action to have yourself legally established as the father of the child. She may name you as the father in the adoption, but you can't count on it.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    You have all the same rights as any other father, including the right to ask for possession or access to the child and you do not have to agree to the adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    You do not have to. If the child was born in FL, you will have to file a Petition to Establish Paternity and have your rights determined by a court, but the court cannot force you to allow the adoption. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney who deals with adoption to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You are the little girl's father, and no one can take her away from you without a Judge making that decision. I can help you with this. I understand that you probably can not raise her full time because you are in the military. That is not the end of the story. I can help you with this. And I will tell you up front what it will cost to do this for you. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    441 Legal Group, Inc.
    441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
    Well you sue for custody (time-sharing) or contest the adoption. Best move would be to file a paternity action to request time-sharing.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Until you do something, your only real parental rights are to have a court put into writing what your specific parental rights are. If the DNA testing was done in connection with some form of judicial action, you can use that same case to ask for parental rights. Otherwise, you need to begin some court proceedings to allocate parental responsibilities (that includes where a child lives, who has decision making authority, what specific parenting time the non-primary-resident parent has, financial responsibility, etc.) However, (unless she lies about knowing who the father is) she will not be able to relinquish her parental right in connection with an adoption without disclosing your identity and affording you an opportunity to object to the adoption. But, unless you are prepared and willing to take full custody responsibility for the child, your objection to an adoption may not carry much weight.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Yes you must be given notice by the court and waive your parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You need to take fast action to meet with an attorney skilled in family law to intervene in your behalf to object to any pending adoptions. You should also file a paternity petition requesting joint legal custody and physical custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    ORS 107.137 governs child custody determinations, and provides, in part: (1) In determining custody of a minor child, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors: (a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members; (b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child; (c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship; (d) The abuse of one parent by the other; (e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and (f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You don't have to. You can file a parentage action and obtain a parenting plan giving you primary care taking responsibilities.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    You mention a DNA test. Was that done as part of a paternity action? Has paternity now been established? At his point, it sounds to me like you probably need to begin a parenting plan action to get time with the child and to enforce what rights you have. It seems to me that if the mother is going to try to give the child up for adoption, you are going to end up in court anyway. Therefore, why not move forward with court action? You can get visitation with the child and may be able to get more than that, depending on the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You must commence a custody/parenting time action if paternity has been determined already. If paternity has not been determined, you must commence a paternity action. In that manner a court may establish the custody and parenting rights for each parent. Until that occurs, you have no enforceable rights.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    If you are the father you can object to this in the Probate Court where she is seeking to terminate parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/18/2011
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