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The bio father of my 4 year old hasn't been in the picture since birth.Isn't even on the birth certificate. Does he have rights?

Sacramento, CA |

My bf at the time got drunk and took advantage of me resulting in Clarissa. After deciding he was too wrapped up in lies, being with me, and having no interest in Clarissa, I got another bf to whom I married. Bio left with no contact or support for the rest of that time (over 3 years). After leaving my marriage due to abuse, I contacted the bio to see if he had an interest in a relationship with his daughter after only a few short visits (and stalking and harassment to me, friends, and relatives that scared Clarissa) it became clear nothing changed. He has left the picture once again after I got a boyfriend. He still doesn't offer support nor does he see her. I would love to add my fiances name to the blank space on her certificate. As he has been every bit of a dad to her as he could be

Attorney Answers 2


As the father, he can ask to be added to her birth certificate and then he can attempt to assert parental rights (establish a custody and visitation arrangement). If he is truly unfit and/or has abandoned your daughter, your best option may be to terminate his parental rights, which is permanent. I recommend finding a qualified attorney in your area. Good luck to you.

Kristen DeWitt-Lopez of DeWitt-Lopez Law, P.C. may be reached at 602.263.3900 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at More information about Ms. DeWitt-Lopez can be found on her website at All of Ms. DeWitt-Lopez’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Kristen DeWitt-Lopez is licensed to practice in the State of Arizona. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

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You cannot simply add fiance's name to the birth certificate and think that it fixes the problem. Bio-dad has legal rights (and obligations), and if you want fiance to be the "legal" dad, then he has go through the adoption process. I am including links below that may be of some help. Good luck.

If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.

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