One of the most contentious aspects of divorce is often linked to determining child custody. Each parent generally wants to protect his or her parental rights and the relationship with a child at any cost, which can result in bitter fights and drawn-out court hearings. It can be a messy process fueled by intense emotion.
But parents don’t need to be divorcing to have a child custody battle in court. Unmarried parents who share children can also run into a fair amount of legal issues when it comes to assigning custody roles. Some people may try to take these matters into their own hands, but that could make the situation even worse. For example, one woman decided to act on her own to give a child up for adoption and now the father is taking legal action to restore his custodial rights.
According to reports, the parents are a 20-year-old man and his former teenage girlfriend. After a brief relationship, the couple broke up after the girl reportedly lied about her age. A few weeks later, the man learned that his ex was pregnant and they were going to be parents.
The father was reportedly prepared to have the child and act as a father. The woman, on the other hand, was not and wanted to give the baby up for adoption. But in accordance with Pennsylvania law, she needed the father’s permission to do so. He refused to sign adoption papers and assumed that would be the end of it.
However, the girl allegedly fled to Utah and had the baby. She then gave it up for adoption, which is permitted in Utah, even without the father’s consent. His son is now 2 and the father recently took legal action against the Utah adoption agency for violating his parental rights. He hopes to be awarded custody of his son.
Child custody matters can be very difficult to sort out alone. Rather than try to navigate this emotional and complex area of family law alone, parents can work with an attorney who understands the challenges that can come up during custody discussions. With legal support, parents can protect their rights and make sure their child’s best interests are protected as well.
Source: Fox 13 News, “Penn. man claims his child was put up for adoption without his knowledge,” Kiersten Nuñez, March 4, 2014