The father of my child, also my boyfriend, stated weeks ago he loves and cares about our daughter, but he'd sign over his rights. Can he actually do that, or is it my choice? I do NOT want child support or any extra money from him. I just would like to know if he could just sign over his rights that easily? Even if he is so involved in her life.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It is not a yes or no answer unfortunately. He can consent to termination, but the State always wants to have two parents who are responsible for the child, and as a result, the State can object. The issue is support of the child. If you are in a new committed relationship, that could help.
Personal Injury Lawyer
It is not as easy as him simply saying he is willing to sign his rights away. All he can do is consent to a voluntary termination of parental rights application. The court will still need to have a hearing, appoint counsel to represent the interests of your daughter and order DCF to prepare a report with its recommendations. Even if the both of you agree that him terminating his rights is the best decision for your child, the court may disagree with you and deny the application if it feels that it has not been proven that granting the application is in your child's best interests.
1 lawyer agrees
Personal Injury Lawyer
I agree with the other attorneys, it is not as easy as "signing over rights". It is also not simply your choice. The termination of parental rights, whether voluntary or involuntary, requires court approval. Even if both parties agree to a termination of the rights of one parent, the court can conclude it is not in the best interests of the child and deny the termination.
Notwithstanding, you must be aware that agreement to have him sign over his rights may not be in the best interests of your daughter, both emotionally and financially. Despite court orders, the father is still, in fact, the father. Your daughter will obviously know she has a father and is it better for her to grow up knowing he thought so little of her that he volunteered to give up his rights? Especially if he continues to stay in her life? I hope she does not grow up hearing that from you. Upon the birth of your daughter, your decisions now impact the rest of her life as well. Long gone are the days of being selfish and only thinking of yourself.
Financially, it is also a huge decision. If parental rights are terminated, you will never be able to come back to him and seek child support or assistance with secondary education. If his rights are terminated, he will never have the responsibility of supporting his daughter, regardless of your financial situation.
Note: This response DOES NOT constitute legal advice and therefore no specific action should be taken in reliance thereon. No attorney-client relationship is created through this response. You should speak to an licensed attorney in your state who is competent to answer your question before taking any action with regard to this question.