Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Can the father of an unborn child voluntarily relinquish his parental rights?

Q:  I am the mother of a 23 year old daughter who has had problems and is now pregnant by a 32 year old man. The father wants nothing to do with the child. He says he is willing to sign a waiver of all this parental rights, a relinquishment of any rights to the child. This is perfectly fine with us; in fact, this is what we want. This is in New York. Is this possible? If so, how? Or do we have to wait until the baby is born? Does it have to be approved by the Court? Or can we simply make a written agreement? I know I will eventually need a lawyer, but I want to get as much background as possible first.

A:  David's Answer:  New York public policy forbids the bastardization of children. As such, unless she's wanting someone else to adopt the child, then he cannot surrender his parental rights. That said, if he ever tries to petition for visitation, she can counter-sue for support. Schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody lawyer for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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