In June 2012, the governor of Michigan signed a new law intended to give biological fathers the right to petition for parental rights. Prior to this new family law, the old law was more concerned with keeping the family unit together. Since the new law went into effect, one biological father may now be closer to bringing his 6-year-old daughter home.
In this case, the man's daughter was born to the unmarried couple while they were seeing each other. Suspicions arose when the hospital did not allow him to sign his name on the birth certificate because the woman who bore his child was apparently still married. However, he stated that she had indicated to him that she was divorced. Nevertheless, the two continued to live together and bring the child up for another two and a half years before breaking up. After their break-up, the woman returned to her husband with the man's daughter. The biological father has not seen her in over three years.
The husband went to court and stated that he is the only father the girl has known, and he will raise her like his own, although according to reports, the husband is currently incarcerated on drug trafficking charges. Under the new law, the biological father is hopeful and waiting for the judge's ruling on whether he will get parental rights.
Parents involved in bitter child custody battles may find themselves trying to make sense of the laws out there that impact their ability to see their children, and this can be overwhelming and emotional. They should not suffer in silence trying to figure out and keep up with family law issues. Given how emotional and complicated these family legal issues can get, it may be crucial to seek expert advice on the matter.
Source: WNEM, "Twisted parental rights case tests new state laws," Erik Horn, Oct. 19, 2012