What can I do if I raised a child since birth and now the biological father suddenly wants custody? 6 Answers as of August 06, 2013

I am not the father of the boy I have raised since birth, I have raised the child on my own without the help of the mother and the father. The child knows me to be his father and has not been told by the father or mother that I was not the father. The child has my last name and for the first 4 years of the child’s life I have supported the child. The father came into the child’s life at that time and is now without having even built a stable relationship with the child wants to have full custody of the child what are my rights if I have any? Also the mother is willing to sign over her rights to me!

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Ronald Main & Associates | Tracian M. Laignel
In the state of Oklahoma you are considered the presumed father. You have held this child out as your own for at least two years, have had him reside in your home and have provided for his basic needs. For the biological father to bring a paternity action seeking custody of your son he would need the permission of the biological mother or you. Since neither of you are willing to allow paternity to be contested then the biological father is out of luck. So, if the biological father goes forward with a paternity action file a Motion to Dismiss as the presumed father.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 8/6/2013
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
You have a chance, but it is an uphill battle.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/5/2013
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
You may have some rights as the de fact custodian, but you need to get an attorney and figure out what to do. Since you never attempted to adopt the child, you may not have a good case. Your other alternative may be to move for guardianship if you can prove that dad is not fit to be a parent. That might give you some breathing room to go ahead with the adoption.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 8/5/2013
John Russo | John Russo
First of all how did you end up with this child in the first place? Second the mother can't sign her rights over to you for a number of reasons, but the first is the obvious one she has none, legal anyway. When this child was born sounds like neither party established custody or placement rights thru the courts, so they each have the standing when it comes to the child. Who's name is on the birth certificate? This is a bizarre situation and you better be careful especially if your name is not on the birth record.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/5/2013
Woods, May & Matlock, PC
Woods, May & Matlock, PC | Robert J. Matlock
You are entitled to file suit to terminate the parental rights of the parents.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/5/2013
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