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Father misled about daughter's birth, fights for child custody

Michigan family courts deal with parent's rights on daily basis. Parents may be fighting for custody or may be fighting for child support. But some parents don't even know that they have rights. They may not even know that they have children.

This is the case for a young 21-year-old father. He says that is ex-girlfriend told him she had an abortion only to later discover that she gave birth to his child and put her up for adoption. The man's lawyer claims that he passed a paternity test, and now the purported father is fighting to gain custody from the adoptive family. His argument is that the baby was put up for adoption without his consent because he never knew that his daughter was even born.

After the couple broke up last year, the man's ex-girlfriend told him that she was pregnant. Many emotions are typical following such an announcement, but the purported father says that he was excited about the idea even though he was shocked. At one point when the man asked his ex how everything was going with her and the baby, she allegedly told him that she had an abortion.

The young man has never met the 5-month-old girl that he says is his daughter, but he is still fighting for sole custody.

Paternity disputes like this can get complicated, especially when an adoptive family is involved. No one wants to remove a child from a loving home, but it is essential that courts maintain and uphold parental rights, including the rights of a father to consent to an adoption.

A court date is set for early September, but it is still unclear how the case will unfold. In situations like this, it is best to cover all the bases and make sure that all parents, including adoptive parents, have adequate legal representation. In cases where everyone wants what is best for the child, it may all boil down to a judge's decision. Therefore, it is critical for parents to put their best foot forward and present the best argument possible.

Source: HLN, "Dad fights for baby put up for adoption by mom," Aug. 29, 2013

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