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Guardianship and birth father's rights when the child doe not carry his last name

Laurel, MD |

My unmarried granddaughter abandoned her daughter and left her in the custody of her mother (the child's grandmother). The child has her mother's name, not her father's. The father is giving my daughter a hard time about visitation rights. My granddaughter said she would sign guardianchip papers over to my daughter. The father wants the child to spend the whole weekend with him at his brother's home where she does not have a bed to lie on. Does my daughter have to let him h ave her to stay with him at his beck and call?

Attorney Answers 1


As a MD attorney, I am able to answer your question with respect to MD law. The birth father and birth mother have the same legal rights to custody and visitation, and the same responsibilities under the law to provide child support for your great granddaughter (that is your relationship to the child, correct?). However, if your granddaughter is worried about the child's safety, she can raise that with a court if the birth father brings a visitation action. Although the birth father has a legal right to see the child, in many instances birth fathers do not go to court to enforce their rights. Until the birth father does that, your granddaughter may impose any limitations she wants to his visitation. The danger there, however, is that the birth father can take the child at any time and not return her. He has that right under the law until there is an outstanding court order describing both parents' custody and visitation rights to the child. The child also has a right to receive child support from her birth father, but it sounds like your granddaughter will have to go to court to obtain child support.

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