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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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