Skip to comments.Fathers of Illegitimate Children Would Lose Rights to Adoption
Posted on 04/10/2012 1:26:36 PM PDT by DNA.2012
A bill presented in the House would allow the adoption of a child to take place without the consent of the father, if he has not previously developed a consistent and substantial relationship with the child.
The definition of consistent and substantial relationship, has not been specifically defined in Missouri law. The bill seeks to express clearly the actions a father must take to develop a consistent and substantial relationship.
Unless actively thwarted from doing so by the mother, the father must provide:
Consistent prenatal financial support
Payment of prenatal and natal medical care for the mother and baby
Child support payments proportional with his ability to pay
Consistent contact and visitation with the child
Assistance with educational and medical care of the child
Professor Mary Beck at the University of Missouri School of Law wrote the bill. She said this bill was written in response to the Lentz case. She said one of the goals was to clear up confusion on who could intervene in an adoption.
It (the bill) spells out what a father needs to do to protect his constitutional parental rights, Beck said.
She said the bill also specifies to judicial circuits when the father has not protected his parental rights, and when the child can be adopted and gain permanency with a family and home.
Rep. Rory Ellinger, D-University City, said he is strongly against the bill. He said in the case of a woman getting pregnant and deciding not to tell the father, that this bill would not only deprive the man of the right to be a father, but would also get him out of his duty to pay child support.
Beck, along with at least 10 other attorneys in the Missouri who are members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys united to create the bill. The chair of the Family Law section of the Missouri Bar and the chair of the special committee on adoption, developed by the Missouri Bar were both involved in writing the bill.
Beck said the opinion in the Lentz case has led to different interpretations by different judicial circuits in the state. She said the bill attempts to clarify the position of the legislature on the issue.
Arnold said the bill was an attempt to fix the law, because of the confusion in the Lentz case. He said many legislators wanted to strengthen the adoption laws and make it clear to the judiciary what the legislative intent was in such cases. However, he said he believes the bill restricts the constitutional rights of father-child relationships, and they did not get the language right.
This is a terrible law, Arnold said.
He said he would suggest changing actively thwarted by the mother or the child, to include other entities, such as the court or prospective adoptive parents. Arnold said in the Lentz case, the court and the prospective adoptive parents thwarted Lentz from consistent contact and visitation with the child by limiting his visitation.
In close cases, such as the Lentz case, the laws in Missouri make it difficult for judges and attorneys to know how to proceed. Beck said the bill spells out what the law is.
We wont have close cases anymore, it will either be this way or it wont be this way, Beck said.
With this bill, Arnold said Lentz would not have been able to fight for custody of his son, because he would not have met the five criteria spelled out in the bill.If a fathers name is not listed on the birth certificate, the father must take certain actions in order to gain custody of the child, such as:
Filing with the states punitive fathers registry an intent to claim responsibility for the child.
Filing a paternity action to have himself declared a custodian of the child.
Assuming consistent financial and custodial responsibility.
The bill means to define consistent financial and custodial responsibility as developing a relationship with the child and providing financial support.
Other states have passed similar legislation. In Illinois, consent is not required when a parent has deserted, failed to communicate or provide support for the child. In Iowa, consent is not needed if a parent has signed a release of custody or abandoned and failed to support the child. The same is true in Arkansas, but the parent must fail to assume parental responsibilities for two years.I think its fair to say that the state wants to protect the rights of men who assume financial and custodial responsibility for their children, Beck said. But we dont want to prevent children from going to adoption where fathers object, but dont step up to the plate and dont assume legal, custodial and financial responsibility.
Ellinger said the majority of the time lower class mothers put their children up for adoption, while middle and upper class couples are generally the ones to adopt. He said the bill was legislative class bias at its worst.
Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, also said he believes this bill is biased against men. He said the bill does not take into account the social factors of the mother and father, and the father may not be able to meet the criteria, because the relationship is strained. In such cases he said, the mother may not have the childs best interest in mind and abuses the fathers support payments.
You are missing the part about a child having a relationship with their father.
They do desire to at least know the person from who their unique life came from.
Fathers who don’t provide for their children are pricks but the child doesn’t need to also suffer consequences.
I am very much aware of that.
Hence I tell people” it takes 5 minutes to become a father but, it takes a lifetime to be a Dad”.
I am very much aware of that.
Hence I tell people” it takes 5 minutes to become a father but, it takes a lifetime to be a Dad”.
Then don't knock her up, sinple.
Despite what the law allows, any adoptive parent who doesn’t want to have their heart ripped out at some point would be wise to get a release from both the legal and the biological father.
My rights as a parent are significantly controlled by the state legislature of North Carolina and its employees of the education and child-welfare sort. I don’t think it’s ideal that they tell us how many beds we must have and make it nearly impossible for our teenagers to hold jobs, but that’s the way it is.
The current Missouri House of Representatives has 122 men and 41 women. If those 122 men are concerned about the parental rights of other men, there’s a great deal they can do.
On a scale of 0 to 0, what are the odds that the 41 women are concerned about the parental rights of men?
Simple is this: children are conceived. Some within marriages, some outside of marriages. No one is disputing that for children to be conceived within marriages is the preferable option.
However, when children are conceived outside of marriages, the natural fathers of those children have a right to raise their own children and thus to stop their adoption to random strangers.
Works for me, Rory. No man should be ambushed. When she knows, he should know. Of course, if she's wrong or lies about who the father is, she should be penalized.
The Law should not demand husbands pay for boyfriends' babies in the face of established paternity. In some states it does.
Any progress made towards putting men, and fathers, on an equal playing field with women is a good thing. Modern women, like those whining about the cost of 90 days "birth control" for $10, need to learn personal responsibility.
Women are considered holy, men, evil. The whole stigma for illegitimate kids has shifted off the woman entirely, and totally onto the man.
so the woman says “it is not yours” is that enough thwarting?
what about the man who finds out years and years later?
this seems more an adoption LAWYER law than a paternity rights law.
this is about adoption lawyers being able to sell babies easier. For lawyers the process of selling a baby is hampered by fathers who suddenly appear.
make no mistake the adoption lawyers make good money doing adoptions.
notice how this law essentially requires check book paternity. you have to give money to have visitation.
that is sick.
If they are Republican women legislators, they are probably interested in the rights of married fathers of children. They might be less concerned about the rights of unmarried fathers, although that’s not really logical. But anyway, what difference does it make? Even if all the women were in favor of the bill, they’re overwhelmingly outnumbered by the men.
I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish with your posts. It’s clear that you are not happy with the current state of family law. You’d like married fathers to have better legal standing and unmarried fathers to have the legal protections of married fathers. What are you doing about it? Laws have to be changed to achieve this, and they have to be changed by the men who are the majority of lawmakers at every level of government. Even if all women in government were 100% behind you, there aren’t nearly enough of them to make a difference.
Several posters have suggested that, as a way of avoiding negative consequences, men might consider not casually impregnating women. You seem to consider this option for dealing with the current legal situation simply unthinkable. Laws are unjust sometimes, but if one can keep from falling afoul of them by a simple expedient, shouldn’t it be worth mentioning?
Right. Besides, what’s one more law that beats up on men anyway? Just as long as the bimbos are never inconvenienced.
Your post does not appear to address the question of what either you or the O.P. wants anyone to do about the situation. I think there’s general agreement among most FReepers that the current legal situation has serious problems.
Okay, now what? Suggest a constructive action in response.
Rather than having an abortion, she decides to have the child and have the child adopted by a loving family. She needs his consent but while he has no interest in the child or supporting the child, hes a control freak, he gets some sort of twisted satisfaction in keeping her dependent on him, as minimal as his involvement and support may be and as much as his "support" is merely court mandated, he enjoys making life as difficult as possible for her.
Dont think that this doesnt happen. Ive seen this happen. It happened to a member of my family.
Not saying the law is right or well written but just adding another POV.
Fathers must be notified and sign off on adoption of their own kids. Jeezuz what’s so hard about that?
Already a woman can abort or not abort a man’s baby without regard to the man’s opinion on the matter. Now they want to do the same with adoption? And the stupidity of child support payments is a whole nuther can of worms. If a man gets laid off or gets his hours shortened why is he still required to keep up child support payments? Why is he required to make up back payments if he makes no money for a few weeks? If the bitch was married to a man that got laid off or his hours reduced, SHE WOULD HAVE TO MAKE DO with the reduced income.
I’m sick of this. As an employer, I am fed up with women ENTIRELY and I am fed up with the stupid laws. I don’t see why I am forced to do my employees child support bullshit. As far as I’m concerned, unwed mothers should not be allowed to have any kids whatsoever. Force them to get married or take their kids away.
Most of these stupid broads are single because they just don’t feel like being married...and this stupid ass system we live under coddles these worthless bimbos and lets them get away with their spoiled attitudes AND THEN REWARDS THEM FOR IT.
That appears to be the current state of the law, and it will remain the law, in Missouri, unless many male legislators vote for the proposed change.
Yes, the system is currently awash in perverse incentives. I didn't make the laws. What can one do about it?
Already a woman can abort or not abort a mans baby without regard to the mans opinion on the matter. Now they want to do the same with adoption?
It's worth noting that a woman being able to abort a man's baby over his objections and a woman being able to adopt out a man's baby over his objections spring from the same view.
The view is that that women own the children and can do whatever they want with them:
Kill them by abortion.
Leave them at a fire station with no notice to the father.
Kill them as newborns and attribute it to SIDS or post-partum depression.
And now, adopt them out to strangers over the objections of the natural father.
So the constructive things to be done are:
1. Oppose laws and regulations which disenfranchise fathers.
2. Fight for laws which affirm fathers' natural rights to protect and raise their own children.