How doIlegally go about terminating my son’s father’s parental rights?

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How doIlegally go about terminating my son’s father’s parental rights?

I  gave birth to my son 6 months ago. In the beginning of the pregnancy the biological father stated he did not want the child and was not going to have anything to do with the child if I chose to have it. We were living together at the time however, when it became obvious I would not end the pregnancy, he told me to move out. At the time I was just entering my 4th month. I did not have the financial resources to immediately to find my own home and was forced to stay with relatives. I did not receive any financial support from him during the pregnancy. I paid all of the prenatal expenses myself. Once I delivered the hospital helped me file for aid through the state, so Medicaid covered the delivery and my son currently is covered by Medicaid. I also receive WIC benefits. He has never once attempted to contact me regarding my son and is not listed on the birth certificate. No paternity has been established. I would like to know if it is possible to legally terminate any parental right this man could possibly have in the future and what steps I could take to do so? 

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding the termination of the biological father’s parental rights.  In general do not like to engage in negotiations relating to child custody and support that result in the biological father terminating their parental rights. However, there are scenarios in which the court will support the termination of the father’s parental rights.  These scenarios include cases of neglect and abuse of a child, when a father has chosen to not have contact or visitation with the child, and when the father has refused to pay child support for the care of your child.  You will need to obtain a copy of your state’s guidelines for terminating parental rights, and then you will be better equipped with possibilities for terminating the father’s parental rights. 

After reviewing your state’s laws on this issue, you will know what grounds you have to cite before the court in order for the judge to order a termination of parental rights.  You cannot simply make accusations, but you must have some evidence to support the grounds for termination.  Some evidence would be if the father has not seen the child in any large time frame, such as a six month or one year lapse between visitations with the child.  Additionally, make note of any payment or lack thereof for child support.  Be sure to identify the monthly expenses for your child and list how those expenses are paid. 

As in some circumstances, the biological father is okay with terminating their parental rights, because they do not want to have to pay child support for the child.  And if they are no longer listed as the father of the child, then the court cannot order them to pay child support.  You may want to contact an attorney in your area that handles family custody disputes that can assist you further with demonstrating to the court that you seeking the termination of the father’s paternal rights for the best interests of your child.

 


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