18 answers

What's the Process for Giving up Parental Rights?

My friend got pregnant during a casual relationship and now finds out the little she knew about the guy was mostly untrue. She wants him to give up his parental rights and stay out of their lives. She doesn't know anything about this process. Can this be done while she's pregnant or does it have to wait until the baby is born? Is this something that requires a lawyer or not? Any info that you can give would be great!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

She doesn't have to list him on the birth certificate, but if he is interested in having contact with the baby it will become a legal discussion. My understanding is that you can't do anything until after the baby is born!

1 mom found this helpful

She should talk to an attorney. Unfortunately, the father will need to agree to this and do it willingly. She alone cannot make the decision, regardless of his character. Good luck!

More Answers

She needs to get an attorney that specializes in family law. My opinion is to do it strictly by the book because if she doesn't this guy can come back years from now and fight for custody. Granted, he'd then have to pay back child support and that usually will scare off the losers but still. She would have to wait till the baby is born because they have to establish paternity in order to terminate his parental rights. If she tries to do it on her own and just have him sign something, he can come back and say he didn't understand or he was coerced and it will wind up in court anyhow. If he has a lawyer and she has a lawyer then they are both on equal footing in the eyes of the court.

But she needs to realize that just because she wants him to stay out of their lives doesn't mean he will or even has to.

She will get the best answers for the laws in her state if she works with an attorney.

3 moms found this helpful

He is the childs father. He has a right to know of his child, and the right to know his child. Actually, he has the obligation. If he chooses not to, then she can see about terminating his rights.
Every child has the right to know who their parents are, and to know them unless it is unsafe for the child.
Your friend should have been more careful. The fact that she wasn't does not change the above facts.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry that your friend finds herself in this situation. However, you should take time and develop relationships before having sex. IMO, once you have sex voluntarily with someone, you are as responsible for the repercussions as well as the other person.
You say that she wants him to give up his rights. But has she talked to HIM? What does he want? Or doesn't want?
I don't know about IA, but in TN a father could not give up parental rights unless someone else wanted to step up and adopt/become responsible financially for the child (this is from my cousins experience). Frustrating, absolutely if you have a father that wants nothing to do with the child. But this is a situation that could have been easily avoided.
As far as the birth certificate, if she knows for sure 100%, why wouldn't she list him on the birth certificate. This isn't for her. This is for her child. Doesn't the child have the right to know who the parents are? I believe so.
After all is said and done, she needs to right down her questions and concerns then meet and have an extensive conversation with her "casual" guy friend. If they can come to an agreement, they will still need to have a lawyer to draw up the necessary paperwork. If they don't go ahead and do that now, it could wind up costing alot more money in the long run if one decides they want to change something, or stop visitation, or whatever. Then you have a legal battle which is more expensive.
And I would also recommend that your friend go and get some counseling. What she thinks and feels right now may not be in either her or the baby's best interests. She needs to begin doing the responsible thing for her child, not herself. She needs to request child support for this child, regardless of whether or not she believes she can support the baby, put that money into a college fund, savings account, or whatever for the baby's future.
Bottom line...I do wish your friend the best of luck as she navigates this very rocky road. I also hope that you can be a great source of support to her. The goal at this point is or should be to have a healthy, happy baby.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think that there is anything that says that you have to list the father on the birth certificate. If he wants to be in the childs' life then HE has to go through the courts and get a paternity test. Just don't list his name when the baby is born
Does he know that she is pregnant? If not, why tell him

1 mom found this helpful

She doesn't have to list him on the birth certificate, but if he is interested in having contact with the baby it will become a legal discussion. My understanding is that you can't do anything until after the baby is born!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think you have to list the father on the birth certificate. Even if you do, you don't have to give the baby his last name. The only benefit to listing the father, in my opinion, would be for any genetic reasons, or child support. But even child support can be granted through the courts and DNA testing without listing the father on the birth certificate. Good luck to your friend.

1 mom found this helpful

I think it vary's state to state so she should talk with a lawyer to see what it is in her state. I know when my son wasn't married yet to his daughter's mother and he had to sign a paternity claim to get his name on the birth certificate and to give her his last name... it also was needed for him to put her on his insurance before he married her mother. I also know that my sister had a daughter out of wedlock years ago and was on state help in which the state wanted the father's name since it wasn't on the birth certificate. The state then went after the father for cost of prenatal care and the birth and child support. He was also told he could go after custody/visitation rights. I also think that it was said that he couldn't just give his rights up without having someone there to take over the care, especially if there is state help in supporting the child. The only way she will know what they can do or can't do is visit with a lawyer.

The biological father has NO legal rights or responsibilities until his name is on the birth certificate or paternity is established by DNA testing. If she is certain she wants nothing to do with him and she knows that this would be in her baby's best interests, she should break off all ties with him now. If he wants to establish paternity later, it's his responsibility to do so UNLESS your friend applies for state assistance. If your friend pursues state assistance, the state will inquire into the identity of the biological father and try to track him down for financial support. Your friend should be prepared with answers to direct questions as to who the baby's father is IF she plans on pursuing state assistance.

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