Closing an adoption loophole could be fathers’ rights win

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An unmarried father that wants to be an active parent can sometimes find themselves at a disadvantage. If a child’s mother does not want the father to be involved in decision making, the father may have to utilize the legal system to prove paternity and assert their rights as the father. In some cases, the mothers might not even let the father know a child exists.

Orlando readers might be shocked to learn that a woman can travel to Utah and make decisions about a child, such as putting the child up for adoption, and never consult the father. However, Utah is taking steps to change their adoption laws. There are three bills in the works that will make it easier for out-of-state fathers to track down children who might have been born in the state.

One piece of legislation will require the state to share information with other states when a father is conducting a search. A second proposed change would require women who lived in the state for less than 90 days to provide information about the possible father of the child being put up for adoption. A third piece of legislation that would have improved notification to fathers has been tabled due to opposition.

The new proposals will give fathers more rights when it comes to their children. Currently, 30 men have filed a federal lawsuit regarding Utah’s current laws. Hopefully the proposed changes will allow fathers to exercise the rights they deserve to have.

For any father who feels they are not being treated fairly, speaking to a legal professional can help them determine what rights they have and assist in rectifying the situation.

Source: FoxNews, “Three Utah bills to change rights of biological fathers in adoption cases encounter pushback” Alicia Acuna, Faith Mangan, Mar. 12, 2014

Pregnant women may need permission to move

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Florida fathers are often overlooked in the child custody proceedings that decide their kids’ future. This is particularly true when the fathers live some distance away from the mothers of their children. A new child custody case that involves Olympic skier Bode Miller could create a resolution to this type of dispute, however, as fathers may now be able to protest the movements of women who are pregnant with their children. This could improve fathers’ rights to child custody considerations, especially among those who end up living states away from their youngsters.

Miller’s romantic dealings with the mother of his child started when they went on several dates and eventually slept together. Although the pair decided to forego a long-term relationship, the woman ended up pregnant, and she chose to leave the state of California. The woman, a former Marine, departed for New York to attend Columbia University. Miller, who initially seemed ambivalent about the child custody scenario, eventually chose to file for paternity and custody, and Miller was awarded custody of the child.

Now, that ruling out of New York has been overturned by a higher court, which argued that women’s movements and decisions to relocate cannot be limited strictly because they are pregnant. In other words, women who are pregnant would have to seek the permission of the person who impregnated them before they could move to another state, or potentially even within the same region.

Understandably, the pending appeal in the case is meeting with substantial opposition from women’s groups, though fathers argue that they should not be shut out of visitation just because of a pregnant woman’s decision. Fathers’ rights deserve to be considered even when a woman is just pregnant with a child – after all, her subsequent decisions can lead to major changes in the family’s life. Fathers who are seeking assistance with their child custody cases should consider seeking the assistance of a qualified Florida attorney who can help them draft a custody agreement that serves the best interests of the child.

Source: www.care2.com, “Pregnant? You may need the baby’s father’s permission to move” Robin Marty, Nov. 27, 2013