Parental Rights & Obligations

questions & answers

Question: My daughter is not married and has a 5 month old baby. The father is already listed on the birth certificate and now wants to "sign away" any parental rights. Is it possible to just sign away all rights? Will he still have to provide child support if he signs away all the rights?

Answer: There is no Arizona statute or appellate opinion that expressly discusses the option of one birth parent relinquishing his parental rights while leaving the other biological parent's rights intact. The applicable law (A.R.S. § 8-107) contemplates relinquishment for the purpose of adoption by a third party. Since a biological mother would not need to adopt her own child, it is unclear whether the father can simply "sign away" (as you put it) his parental rights in the absence of a subsequent adoption. You should definitely consult with an attorney who specializes in juvenile law (especially relinquishments and/or adoptions) to discuss this particular situation, and to determine whether the father's consent to the biological mother's "adoption" of her own child would work under A.R.S. § 8-107(D)(2). Concerning your other question, the successful adoption of a child also terminates the birth parent's duty to pay prospective child support. See A.R.S. § 8-117(B). It does not, however, retroactively cancel any past support arrearage that accumulated before the adoption occurred. Since your question did not actually focus on adoptions, this particular law may not be helpful.

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QUESTIONS

  • My daughter is not married and has a 5 month old baby. The father is already listed on the birth certificate and now wants to "sign away" any parental rights. Is it possible to just sign away all rights? Will he still have to provide child support if he signs away all the rights?

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