Skip to main content

Mother in jail wants to give up all parental rights.

Los Angeles, CA |

Crazy one here. Mother dropped us off at the airport. Hasn't seen her son in over 12 yrs. She has been in and out of jail since. Meanwhile, I have had our son in a stable environment, private schools etc. I am not named on the birth cert. She put, Unknown.

Child and parents are US citizens. Son was born in Cali. We have resided, due to work, in Costa Rica for 12 yrs. To confirm paternity, DNA tests were required by the US Embassy when I went to renew his passport without her presence after they confirmed she was in jail.

She has agreed to give up any and all paternal rights so that I may change is birth name to what he has been called since he was 6 mos old.

What paperwork is needed for her to voluntarily relinquish her rights? Or is a simple notarized letter to a judge enough?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. Unfortunately in California she can't give up her parental rights unless there's someone else ready to pick them up.
    You CAN enter into an agreement with her acknowledging that you are his father, and giving you sole legal and sole physical custody rights.
    Then file a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship asserting your parentage, and requesting amendment of the birth certificate and sole legal/physical custody. You would be able to use the DNA test to confirm your parentage and the agreement to support your requests.

Child custody topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics