How do I go about having the father sign over parental rights?

Mariah - posted on 07/22/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am 4 so months along in my pregnancy, young teen mother, Due on Christmas Eve. I want to make sure the father of my child has NOTHING to do with him/her. Baby will most likely be named Charlie, so we'll go with that(: Charlie is too precious to me already.. I want to do everything I can to make sure the father isn't around. I want him to sign over his parental rights, but I don't even know where to start with that! He is a drug addict.. Which I didn't know until I was already a few months along. I left the father after a short time of being with him because I discovered his very serious drug addiction. But it was too late, because I was already pregnant. I want to take every precaution neccessary to make sure my baby doesn't know he exist.. Do I go to an attorney? Do I print the papers up myself? Do I have to wait until the baby is born? Please help!! :/

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Taylor - posted on 07/22/2012

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Eh we are going to have to disagree on this subject then, and just let the OP see a lawyer. Any which way i think we concur on the fact that she should just not deal with telling this guy, and keep him out of her life.

Dove - posted on 07/22/2012

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Does he want to sign over his rights? If so, you might have a good chance. If not... this really isn't your decision to make. You can certainly go to court and give it a try, but even drug users and abusers 'typically' have a right to their kids and their kids have a right to know their parents. Personally, I think going for full custody and allowing the father supervised visits (you don't have to be the supervisor) may be the way to go. Your best bet is to contact a lawyer in your area who will know the ins and outs of the law where you are located.

Tiffany - posted on 07/22/2012

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Taylor, it's possible in most states to sign over your rights TO someone. Simply terminating is generally considered against public policy. And termination of parental rights DOES, in most states, terminate parental rights. Really, the only way for the OP to get good information about what is possible in her state is to talk to a local lawyer. When I was practicing family law, people came into my office nearly every day who had made terrible (and sometimes irreparable) mistakes by relying on the advice of friends and family.

Taylor - posted on 07/22/2012

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Tiffany it is possible in almost every state to sign over your rights. Terminating rights also does not absolve financial obligation. The issue is most often the situation she want's doesn't happen, and the one parent digs their heels in. And as you said he has no rights at this point as it is, so there is no reason to open this can of worms.

Tiffany - posted on 07/22/2012

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In most states, it is not possible to terminate parental rights unless either the parent is shown to be a serious danger to the child or another party is adopting the child. That's because the presumption is that it's better for a child to have the support (actual and financial) of both parents wherever possible. It would not hurt to consult an attorney just to fully understand what your options are, but I don't think that you will be able to achieve exactly what you want. You can, however, find out what you should do in terms of attributing paternity to him and other actions that might impact your rights and his later.

You don't say what his feelings are or whether it's likely that he's going to try to involve himself in the baby's life. If he doesn't make any effort to do so, that will be helpful to you--in most states paternity must be legally established, and if neither of you takes legal action to do that, a statute of limitations may apply and prevent him from trying to claim the child later in life.

Make sure you think through all of the ramifications of that, though (and this is where talking to a lawyer up front will be helpful). For instance, if the window closes on establishing paternity, you're "safe" from him coming after visitation and such, but you may also be precluded from ever seeking child support. I know you don't think you want that now, but just make sure that you've considered all of the angles.

In most states, so long as you are not married to the father and paternity has not been legally established, he has no legal rights.

By the way, congratulations on making the decision to get away from him and on working so hard to protect your child.

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