Does it qualify as child abandonment and what are the possible outcomes?

Rachel - posted on 10/30/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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*I have posted this on another page, but am hoping anyone can share input/answers*

Shortened as much as possible:

So I am happily married and have been for a year now. My daughter was born this year in March. My husband and I have known each other for two years. We briefly separated (before marriage - different continents, deaths in the family, etc.) and it was a rough time. I became pregnant during that time and the bio father is an absolute douche. My husband is well aware of the situation. The father was re-stationed, and I reconnected with my (now) husband shortly after (conversation with the bio father ended before I even knew I was pregnant - as I said, very douche-ish). I was self sufficient so this was not due to finances (in case someone wanted to throw the "gold digger" idea out there). I love my husband very much and treasure our relationship and marriage. The last contact I established with the biological father was September 2011. I had to block my number and call him at 5 a.m. just to get him to answer the phone. He has my contact (email) and has made no attempt to reach me. My husband and I agreed that should he not contact by the time our daughter was born he would sign the birth certificate. I have one source that I have contacted every 6 months to ensure the father is not re-stationed (mainly for the fact I would probably say/do something stupid if I saw him again) who informed me he is now married. Because of this, I don't think he will ever go out of his way to try to re-establish contact (though he acted so set on being an involved dad when we last spoke). My only concern is running into him at future duty stations and him trying to become involved. I don't care for his money - I don't want him in my daughter's life (she has a loving and amazing father who will never abandon her). I am just curious as to the legal side of this. I spoke to JAG (military lawyers for those who don't know) and the lady I talked to assured me it would be fine and dandy to have my husband sign as the father - she said he (bio father) would have a hard time getting anyone to try for a DNA test/custody. Does anyone have any experience in this type of situation? This guy is a real tool, and though I don't see him going out of his way, he is very cruel and vindictive - I could definitely see him trying to do something if we were in the same area (I reside in CO - he is in AZ), which is highly possible as my husband is doing twenty and this guy is wanting to do twenty (military is a small world). Down to the exact question: SINCE HE HAS KNOWLEDGE THAT THIS IS HIS CHILD AND HAS MADE NO EFFORT TO ESTABLISH CONTACT, DOES THIS QUALIFY AS CHILD ABANDONMENT EVEN THOUGH HE IS NOT ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE? Further, would he have a leg to stand on if he tried to come back down the line to fight for her?

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Jodi - posted on 10/30/2012

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And just for the record, my son's father is a bit of a "tool" too (probably a lot really), but my son is now 15 and has a good relationship with him. He may be a "tool" but that doesn't always mean bad parent, just not necessarily a particularly responsible one. My ex is totally irresponsible, and has been for the last 13 years, but our son appreciates the opportunity for the relationship, and enjoys his time with him. When it comes down to it, that is what it is all about.

Rachel - posted on 10/30/2012

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My apologies, Jodi -

Clarification: "conversation" = our "relationship" not communication as far as the kid. We were "together" for all of two weeks.

And "douche/tool" = objectifies women with no regard to the fact they are daughters/nieces/aunts/mothers/grandmothers, even after having this continually pointed out to him. Some change when they have daughters of their own, but this is not likely.

And we emailed, had numerous phone calls, and I even went so far as to have a lay over in AZ to have a professional, in person conversation about how we would try to work out custody/visitation (this is where he was quite persistent - even hateful - about being in her life, though my husband had offered to sign the birth certificate... which is what happened anyway).

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Jami - posted on 11/05/2012

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legally if your husband signed birth certificate (acknowledgement of paternity) bio dad would have to take you to court and pay for a dna test to prove your husband is not the child's father before anything else can be done...from what you have said in OP I think that is not likely.



chances are if he sees you or your child he will pretend you don't exist. So likely what will happen is that your child will live her entire life believing your husband is her father, unless you tell her differently.

Tracie - posted on 11/04/2012

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As the bio dad, he will always have rights when it comes to his child. The only way around that is to have him sign away those rights, if you think he would be willing. If you can get him to do that, you'll be home free to live your life with your child and husband and never have to worry about him causing you any problems.



Good luck!

Tasha - posted on 11/02/2012

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I think that since you're husband signed the birth certificate, he would have a battle just with that. In CO abandonment is absolutely no contact after 13 months. I wouldn't worry. And I wouldn't think about him, see where he is at, nothing. It doesn't seem like he worries or thinks about you or your daughter, so don't give him a thought. Just enjoy your family.

Michelle - posted on 10/30/2012

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If you have informed him of the child and he has not made contact in I do believe 2 years after the child is born, then you can go to court and have his rights legally removed and have your husband adopt the baby.

Jodi - posted on 10/30/2012

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Sorry, I am a little confused. You said "conversation with the bio father ended before I even knew I was pregnant" and yet you are saying he has knowledge the child is his? Sorry, your post is a bit confusing. What conversation did you have with him about the child? That's isn't really all that clear.

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