every man can be a father but it takes a special man to be a DAD

Lerato - posted on 05/19/2017 ( 2 moms have responded )

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the bio father of my son has last seen my son when he was only 6 if not 5 months old, my son is turning 6 in september n he doesn't know him or ever heard me or anyone talk about him the only father he know is my boyfriend of 4 years n my father..i tried to contact him in 2015 to give him another chance but he failed i even went to his home but he never bothered to keep contact or send him money the only money he ever gave me was R80 when my son was 3 days old he said i must add the money n buy formula milk. I want to terminate his rights but i don't know where to start.please help me on where to begin because my boyfriend wants to declare him as his but that will be a violation of the law

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Michelle - posted on 05/20/2017

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Where to start, go and see a lawyer.
By the sounds of it, you are in South Africa? This is an international site and laws are different worldwide. A lawyer that knows the laws where you live is the best way to get the correct advice.

Ev - posted on 05/19/2017

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First, you can not just strip the father's rights away. You never mentioned that you took this to court to get custody, visitation and child support set up. By not doing that, the father of your child was not having to be made to adhere to anything about supporting or seeing his child.

Second, why has the child not been told about his father? He has a right to know where he comes from at least. He also has a right to know about his father for medical reasons---illness, diseases, and other issues of a medical nature that might run in father's side of the family.

Third, you need to check with a lawyer of family law to see if you can even strip dad of his rights because of the no contact since 5 or 6 months of age as the last he saw the child. Some states do not have any laws that strip a parent of their rights because of no contact and others do but time lines vary as do laws.

Fourth, if there is no court orders regarding the custody of this child, what is to stop dad from coming and getting him and not return the child to you? He has as much right to the child as you do without those court orders.

Fifth, there is a process of terminating rights. 1) Dad has to be proven unfit to care for the child, be proven a danger to the child, or proven he has had no contact for so much time if that is allowed in the laws where you live to terminate his rights because of no contact. 2) If you can not terminate rights based on no contact, you must get a lawyer to help you get in touch with the father to ask him to sign his rights over. He has to agree to it or nothing will change. 3) You can not force him to do it either.

Sixth, your boyfriend may be the only "father figure" your child has known and that is well and good. At the same time, your boyfriend can not legally adopt him unless you marry him. Most states do not allow adoption of a child unless the parent to be is married to the bio mom or dad already, rights of the other parent are terminated or signed over, or the other parent has died.

This may not be what you wanted to hear but anymore unless states have laws regarding no contact for a length of time to terminate rights, you can not just take the parent's rights away without getting them to sign them over or have proof they are a danger or unfit to care for the child.

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