John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
You do not have to sign away your rights; But, strictly speaking right now your only "rights" are the right to go to court and have a judge decide what specific rights and responsibilities (i.e. child support) you should have. Once that is done, the child could only be adopted by a step-parent if you fail to live up to your responsibilities. Unless and until the Mom actually marries her current "partner", he won't be able to adopt as a step-parent regardless of what you do.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
If you have not legitimated the child, then you need to do so and seek joint legal custody and visitation rights. You will also be required to pay child support. No one can force you to relinquish parental rights. If, however, you fail to establish a relationship with the child and you fail to live up to your obligation to pay child support, a court may find that you have lost your opportunity interest in being a parent and terminate your parental rights.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
As a general rule, you cannot simply terminate parental rights unless the termination is demonstrated to be in the child's best interests. Whether it occurs would depend on the particular facts of the case. It would also require a court hearing and, of contested, a trial.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Under those circumstances, don't sign anything for the mother. File a Paternity case to establish your custody and visitation rights and your child support obligation. Pay money to contribute to your child's support on a regular basis, even if there isn't an order requiring you to do so. Visit and communicate with your child on a regular basis.
Answer Applies to: California
Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
You most certainly do not have to agree with that. In fact, I would strongly recommend* not *doing it. But in order for you to have legal rights to see your child and be an active part of your child's life, you need to have a custody and visitation order in place. I've seen so many father's fail to do this because they didn't want to go through the hassle and expense of going to court. Many custodial parents will then hold the child "hostage" from the other parent, and it becomes that much harder to get things straightened out down the road. Hopefully, this will not happen to you.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts