Texas residents may be interested to hear about a recent, though extreme, child custody case. The mother and father of the child were unmarried at the time the son was born, and now the father is suing because the child was put up for adoption without his consent. He claims that the mother lied to him about her plans for the child until the day before the baby was born. Now, the man is pursuing a case against the mother, family services, and the adoptive parents of the child, as well as the firm which handled the adoption. He alleges that the adoption was fraudulent, and took place, in part, for financial gain.
If readers are confused by this story, they are not alone. The birth-mother was married at the time, but not to the father of the child, and he initiated a paternity claim the day after he was told the child would be adopted. He believed that the birth-mother was legally divorced, but as the assumption of paternity is that of the spouse, he was not consulted about the adoption process. The birth-mother and her husband relinquished their parental rights, and the child was placed with the adoptive couple.
Most child custody cases are not quite so complex. Typically, for unwed parents, proving paternity is a straightforward matter taken care of through the court. Many fathers find it difficult, even with proven paternity, to gain custody or agreeable visitation agreements with the other parent. Consulting a family law attorney who understands a father's needs can help to protect the rights of the father and create legal agreements between the parents for the best interests of the child.
Source: KSL Utah, "Unwed father alleges racketeering in adoption lawsuit" Emiley Morgan and Carole Mikita, Dec. 30, 2013