Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: When my 3 year old daughter was born her father refused to sign the birth certificate, he requested a paternity test be done through the state, after paternity was established they then established child support , my question is because he has not filled out any forms asking to amend her birth certificate or acknowledge paternity does he still have rights? I'm getting married and would like to have my new husband adopt her (i know her bio father will no longer be responsible for child support) and everything was done through DES.

Answer:

Adoption can be very fact specific, you may want to consult with an attorney to find out how the law applies in your specific situation. In Arizona, according to A.R.S. § 25-814, a man is presumed to be the father of the child if: 

1. He and the mother of the child were married at any time in the ten months immediately preceding the birth or the child is born within ten months after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity or dissolution of marriage or after the court enters a decree of legal separation.

2. Genetic testing affirms at least a ninety-five per cent probability of paternity.

3. A birth certificate is signed by the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock.

4. A notarized or witnessed statement is signed by both parents acknowledging paternity or separate substantially similar notarized or witnessed statements are signed by both parents acknowledging paternity.

Any presumption under this section shall be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. If two or more presumptions apply, the presumption that the court determines, on the facts, is based on weightier considerations of policy and logic will control. A court decree establishing paternity of the child by another man rebuts the presumption.

In order to effect an adoption in Arizona, A.R.S. § 8-106 states that, "the court shall not grant an adoption of a child unless consent to adopt has been obtained and filed with the court from the following:

1. The child's birth or adoptive mother, if living.

2. The child's father if any of the following is true:

(a) The father was married to the child's mother at the time of conception or at any time between conception and the child's birth unless his paternity is excluded or another man's paternity is established pursuant to title 25, chapter 6, article 1.

(b) The father has adopted the child.

(c) The father's paternity is established under title 25, chapter 6, article 1 or section 36-334.

You may want to review A.R.S. §§ 8-101 to 8-173 for more complete information on adoption.

QUESTIONS

  • When my 3 year old daughter was born her father refused to sign the birth certificate, he requested a paternity test be done through the state, after paternity was established they then established child support , my question is because he has not filled out any forms asking to amend her birth certificate or acknowledge paternity does he still have rights? I'm getting married and would like to have my new husband adopt her (i know her bio father will no longer be responsible for child support) and everything was done through DES.

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