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Court Discusses Parental Rights of Imprisoned Father


A woman who was high on drugs found herself married to a man she hardly knew. She never lived with that man she married and she never even had sexual relations with him to her knowledge. A New York Family Lawyer said she tried to divorce him in the days that followed but she could not locate him so she could not serve him divorce papers.

The woman later cleaned herself up and stopped taking drugs. By that time, she met another man with whom she fell in love. They lived together as husband and wife without the benefit of a marriage. With this man, she had two children. In the children’s birth certificates, the man was listed as their father and the children used his surname. A New York Custody Lawyer said the children received pediatric care and in the medical records with the children’s pediatrician, the man was indicated as their father. The man was also listed as the children’s next of kin in case of emergency. The father listed the children as his beneficiaries and dependents. He fully supported them with the salary he earned as a construction worker.

The real father of the children (the man who was not the legal husband of the children’s mother) was imprisoned several times during the infancy of the children but he was imprisoned for only short terms of six months. In 1998, he was imprisoned with a term of five years. During his incarceration, he still tried to support the woman and his children with her with earnings as an inmate. He asked his sister to visit the children for him when he couldn’t reach them by telephone because the telephone service at their apartment had been cut off. Months later, the sister of the imprisoned father could no longer find the children or the mother.

It turned out that Child Services had taken custody of the two children and placed them in foster care. Child Services had already commenced neglect and abandonment proceedings against the mother because she was addicted to drugs and could no longer care for the minor children.

When Child Services succeeded in having the children declared as abandoned and neglected, Child Services then began the process of procuring adoptive parents for them. A Queens Family Lawyer said when the Child Services found and approved prospective adoptive parents, Child Services filed for the termination of the parental rights not only of the mother but also of the legal husband of the mother who was also notified of the adoption proceedings. The biological father of the children was not notified of the adoption proceedings until the social worker unearthed the children’s birth certificates. When the incarcerated biological father of the children was informed of the proceedings for the termination of parental rights and for adoption of his children, he opposed the termination of his parental rights and he claimed that his consent to the adoption was required.

The only question before the Court is whether or not the imprisoned man was indeed the biological parent of the two minor children who are now being adopted. There is also the question of whether or not the parental rights of the imprisoned father are required before the children can be adopted.

The Court held that the children, under the eyes of the law, are legitimate children because they were born at the time when their biological mother was legally married. However, a Queens Custody Lawyer said the legal husband of the woman has appeared in court and has declared that he did not have any sexual relations with the mother of the children. He also testified that he did not believe that those two children were his biological children as he had never seen the biological mother of the children from the time that they were married while they were both under the influence of drugs.

On the other hand, the imprisoned man has succeeded in proving that he was not only the biological father of the two children as he was living in with the mother of the children at the time that they were conceived; but also that he had supported them and lived and taken care of them at the time that they were living together. He also proved that even when he was incarcerated, he still supported the two children as far as he was able.

The imprisoned man has proved that he is the father of the children and that his consent is required before the children are adopted by others.

Are you the biological father of children who have been declared neglected? Are your children now subject matter of adoption proceedings? Do you want to assert your parental rights of custody and visitation of your children? Speak with a New York City Family Lawyer and ask his advice. A New York Family Lawyer can gather the facts that support your petition for custody or visitation. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, the NYC Family Lawyers on their staff can help you file your petition.

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