Unmarried father fights adoption of his 3-year-old daughter | Lane & Lane, LLC
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Unmarried father fights adoption of his 3-year-old daughter

An unmarried father in another state wants to warn other unwed fathers nationwide, and also those in New Jersey, to establish paternity before the relationship with the mother of the children ends. This man is fighting for custody of his 3-year-old daughter whose adoption was arranged without his knowledge. He says it has been more than a year since he had last seen the child.

The father claims to have been living with the child's mother for seven years. Although they were never married, he claims they reached mutual agreements on child custody, visitation and child support issues when the relationship ended. He assumed that his name was indicated as the father on the child's birth certificate and that his paternal rights were thereby protected. However, he never realized that paternity has to be formally established by unmarried fathers. There is no presumption of paternity for unwed fathers and no rights to custody or visitation.

Without notifying him of her intentions, the mother reportedly arranged for the child's great-grandparents to adopt her. The father only learned about the adoption after it was finalized. This father believes he is only one of thousands of unmarried fathers who may be blindsided by the mothers of their children.

New Jersey does not have a putative father registry that may protect the rights of unmarried fathers in some other states. The most logical way to avoid a child being put up for adoption is to establish paternity as soon as the baby is born. An experienced family law attorney can assist any unmarried father with the legal procedures of establishing paternity and petitioning for child custody or visitation rights.

Source: kfvs12.com, "Independence father denied custody after loophole adoption", Chris Oberholtz, Amanda Palumbo, Angie Ricono, Jan. 25, 2016

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