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Termination of Biological Father's rights in the State of CA after 5 years of no contact or support? Has other child/same sit.

Newport Beach, CA |

When I found out I was pregnant, the "Sperm Donor" as I call him went into a downward spiral. At 6 months pregnant and on bedrest I was contacted by an 18 yr old who too was pregnant with his child. At 8 months I discovered a 17 yr old was also expecting. Neither went through with the pregnancies. Unfortunately, I had him in the room at my daughter's birth. I had hopes we could be civil....he is on the B.C. He gave me $20 and said "that should cover the first month" I was left with $30k in medical bills and no help. He has seen her 5x (3x I drove to him) He was always 3 hours late and stayed 10 min. She was 1.That was the last I heard from him. He now has a little boy and the mother and child are in same position. Can I file?

He has not made any attempt to contact me and has not supported me or child other than the $20 given to me at her birth. I have been with my Fiance for 3 1/2 years. He has stepped in and is all my child knows as a "Daddy" which is what he is to her. We are getting married in March and he has asked to adopt her. Biological Father tried to get custody of his other son and case was dropped when he refused drug testing. Their are witnesses according to other mother that he is now distributing and consuming drugs. He is 29 and is dating a new 19 yr old. I feel my case is very strong against him. I just need advice as to what I need to do to get things started! We have discussed a court house wedding just to get things moving along. I am so afraid of him trying to take her from me. He is a very bad man and has a history of abuse as well.

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Attorney answers 1


If the question is can you file, the answer is yes. If the question is what would your likelihood of success be if you filed for sole custody, the answer is "it depends." Obviously the facts you have presented are compelling, but your paragraph is necessarily limited and I am sure that there is plenty more you could share about your situation.

One thing you should be aware of is that California generally favors parents remaining in contact with their children. If your goal is to keep him from seeing your children at all, it would be very difficult -- if not impossible. Depending on your individual facts, circumstances, and goals, an attorney could craft a litigation plan that could help ease your fears while still operating in California Family Law's global framework.

If you cannot afford an attorney, do not feel comfortable retaining an attorney, or simply wish to do this yourself, the California Superior Court has great self-help resources online, in the courthouse, and through referrals to other agencies. Visit them at You can also call their self-help number and they should point you in the right direction.

If you are looking for legal advice, you would have to contact a family law practitioner in your area as these matters are fact intensive and require much more than can be posted on a public website like Avvo.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.



Thank you John. Yes....there is a lot more I could share...however my space was limited. I tried to get the basic points across. The fact is.....he is 29, has a history of being in jail, arrested for possession and use of drugs, violence, hospitalizing a minor, dating underage girls, alcoholism, gang association and breaking an entering. This is all since I had my daughter 5 years ago. He also has had zero contact and zero support. I live 10 min from him, he has my number, had my address for 4 years and my email is the same. Many ways for him to contact me if desired. He also, as stated, no has another 2 year old son whose mother he also abandoned during pregnancy at 19. He has given her no support and only recently attempted to obtain partial custody. After 3 court hearings, he has no representation, the court demanded a drug test and he refused. He did not show to the 2 other court hearings and the case is now on hold. I would like to file now to get it over with. My Fiance is willing to go to the Courthouse if needed....however, if it is not needed than I will get started with this immediately.

John Bernard De Leon

John Bernard De Leon


I understand your position. Family law is so tough because the laws are really general. In child custody matters the law is that the judge should do what is in the best interest of the child. That's it. These things are just so fact intensive. Based on the additional information, it appears your child's father hasn't done himself any favors with the court and you have a lot of good facts to offer the judge about doing what is in your child's best interest. You really should strongly consider contacting a family law practitioner in your area. I wish I could offer you something better than that but, in my experience, these cases are very rarely black-and-white and pro per litigants often make mistakes are create additional work for themselves that could have been avoided if they contacted an attorney at the outset. I am very sorry about your situation and I wish you and your family all the best.