What can I do if I am not the biological father and my wife dies? 23 Answers as of June 26, 2013

My wife and the mother of my kids died. After her death I found I am not the biological father of either child. What can I do? My names on birth certificates.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
You might want to consider filing a Motion for Standing as well as a Complaint for Custody. Since you have been acting "in loco parentis," then explain to the court why the stepchildren would be best served by staying in your custody.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 8/22/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
If the children were born during the marriage, you are the presumptive parent and the presumptive custodial parent. You need do nothing to remain the children's legal father.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/19/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
If the child was born during the marriage, the child is presumed yours.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/19/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
A child born during the marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband unless the father comes forward and moves for a DNA test and custody.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/19/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
If the children were born during the marriage, then you are the putative father, even if you are not the biological father. Therefore, if your question is whether someone can take the kids away from you, the answer is no, and you should consult with an attorney immediately if someone is trying to do that. If you are trying to disestablish yourself as their legal father, you would need to file a petition to disestablish paternity, which has multiple technicalities and needs to be done immediately following you learning that you are not the biological father. Therefore, again, you should immediately consult with an attorney, as it is an extremely time sensitive matter. If your existing or potential case is in or near the Central Florida area (Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Marion, and nearby counties), I would be more than happy to speak with you.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/19/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    What do you want to do?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    If your names are on the birth certificates, you are considered the father.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Is anyone else contesting that you are not the father?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    If the children were born during the marriage and are now over 2 years old, you are legally presumed to be the father for good and for bad, they are your kids. If they are younger than 2 years old, you could hunt down the biological father and put the kids in his care, but you better get it all done legally with the help of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Without knowing much more about the situation, a definite answer is pretty much impossible. Is someone making an issue of the paternity of the children? Where are the biological fathers? Are they involved? You may end up having to bring an action to have yourself declared a de facto parent of the children. I suppose that it is also possible, if you get the permission of the biological fathers, to adopt the children and make them legally your children.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If you were married when they were born, you may be the legal father regardless. See a lawyer as there are many details that affect this.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Unfortunately and sadly there may not be much you can do. But you may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney regarding the issue of "virtual adoption".
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    I am not trying to be difficult but what do you want to do? You are the assumed/putative father. The law presumes you are Daddy and if you want to be Daddy, then leave things alone. If you are wanting to dump the kids . . . it would really help to know who the biological father is but then you have to consider what this would do to the children, they did not ask your deceased wife to do this, they are innocent and as far as they know, you are their father.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    These cases are HIGHLY fact-specific; you need a full consultation with qualified family law counsel who is familiar with all such issues.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Rhonda Ellifritz | Rhonda Ellifritz
    If you were married at the time or you signed a voluntary declaration of paternity (which I assume one or both are true since your name is on the birth certificate), you are considered the legal father.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    It isn't clear what your immediate problem is or how/why you have determined that you are not the biological father. As a general rule, the fact that you are on the birth certificates establishes a presumption that you are the legal father. That will be the controlling question unless and until someone challenges that presumption and presents sufficient evidence for a court to decide that someone else, not you, is the legal father. If no one is challenging your right to continue parenting the children, you really do not need to do anything other than continue to be a good parent. If and when someone (such as the true bio-dad) challenges your right by filing a court case, you need to quickly get your own lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    if the children were born during the marriage there is a presumption they are yours. If no one is contesting your right to act as their father then you do not have to do anything.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Your name is on both birth certificates. They are your children, especially if they were born during your marriage. Anyone seeking custody of the children will have to file for custody in court and will have a heavy burden. Call me if you like. Gary Moore 201 342 7933
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    There is a presumption that if the child is born to the marriage that you are the father. So, there might not be a need for you to do anything. The law would state that you are the presumed father.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    I need more facts. But: if you were married to mom when the children were born, the law considers you dad. Another way to determine parentage is with the status of putative father (one who takes children into his home and holds them out as his own). Talk to an attorney as this is such an important issue. Much will depend upon the facts I've listed and whether or not someone else is trying to claim these children. Keep loving these children, they need you more than ever. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney