More than a year ago we posted on one Missouri father’s ongoing battle to get custody of his son. The claim was that his girlfriend had been suffering from postpartum depression when she signed away parental rights of the couple’s 3-month-old baby without first consulting the father. Since he did not sign the birth certificate at the time of his son’s birth, he was left with no legal rights to stop the adoption process.
However, now seven years after the start of the custody battle, which went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court, the father has been awarded permanent custody of his son. Additionally, since the boy’s father is still dating the mother of the child, she too will once again be able to see the child she claims she only put up for adoption because she was under duress.
Now that the family is reunited, the 7-year-old, who is in first grade, has gone through therapy and is reportedly adjusting very well to living with his biological father.
Of course this is a very happy story for the father who had gone through quite the ordeal over the years in order to be reunited with his son. However, this custody battle also highlights the fact that fathers can be in a particularly vulnerable state when it comes to establishing rights as a parent when a child is born out of wedlock.
In general, when a child is born and the parents are married, the identity of the father is rarely questioned. However, in cases where a child is born to unmarried parents, it is very important that the father files a paternity action in order to protect his custody rights as a parent.
Source: fox4c.com, “Parents Regain Custody of Son After Six Year Legal Battle,” Rob Low, Feb. 21, 2012