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Questions about Biological Parent’s Legal Rights

Meghan Jones

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Q. What are the different rights of biological parents?
The biological parents are the default guardians of a child and are automatically entrusted with the responsibility of the upbringing and for ensuring that the best interest of their child are always taken care of. Along with these responsibilities, biological parents also typically have rights to take most of the decisions related to a child’s life till the age of majority is reached. These include decisions related to child care, schooling, religion, health care providers, etc. Sometimes, these responsibilities and rights may be too much to handle and the biological parents may give the child up for adoption giving up their rights as biological parents.

Q. Can the biological parents ask for custody of their child after the child is adopted and parental rights are terminated?
To get back custody, the biological parents would normally have to submit a petition in the court. After the adoption is granted and parental rights are terminated, the chances of getting back the custody would usually be very slim. Considering child’s best interest, the court may reconsider if the biological parents have a very strong reason for the case and can establish why living with the adoptive parents undermines the child’s best interest and why it would be best for the child if the court reconsiders and grants custody to the biological parents. However, this only happens in extreme situations if there is compelling evidence and not the norm.

Q. How can an individual get his name removed from the birth certificate once it is proven that he is not the biological father of the child?
To remove the name from the birth certificate, the mother or the father would have to get an order from the court clearly stating the name of the individual and the information that has to be removed from the birth record.

Q. What legal recourse can the father take to give up the parental rights and child support if the couple is not married?
After it is established that an individual is not the biological father, he would normally not have any legal rights to the child and may not have to give child support. One may have to take a paternity test to prove in the court that he is not the biological father.

Q. How can a parent who has not recognized parenthood get child custody?
An individual may have to establish and gain paternity to get custody of the child. He/she may have to prove that the other parent is incapable of providing child care, in order to get custody. In such situations, the court takes a decision that it deems to be in the best interest of the child. The court may also consider the lifestyle of the parents, their relatives, their ways of parenting, the child’s well being and safety before awarding custody.

There may be many other legal issues as well that may be difficult for you to understand. It is always best to be well informed of your legal rights and standing before taking any decisions. One way to get well informed is to ask a family lawyer to answer your legal questions about biological parent’s rights and any other issues you need clarification on.


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