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Does being a biological parent give you rights?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by disenchant, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. disenchant

    disenchant You can't plagiarize yourself.

    Aug 9, 2006
    Elgin, IL
    I had an interesting discussion with a friend over if being the biological parent of a child gives you "rights" over the child.

    I know the legal system seems to think so.

    My opinion is just because you created the child doesn't mean you get rights that you don't earn. There are so many instances of children being abused and then sent BACK to live with their biological parent(s) because the parents have "rights." Or of a biological parent not being a good mom or dad and then the step parent really taking on the role but always getting shafted because legally the child is not theirs.

    I have no personal experience with this other than I'm adopted and don't know my biological parents. But if I did, they wouldn't be my parents, nor would they have rights (although luckily with adoption they gave up those rights) in my mind. My parents took on the role, they raised me and they earned the rights to be mommy and daddy. I think being a Mom or a Dad is more than contributing an egg or sperm.

    Just curious as to what you all think and what experiences you've had.
  2. rap138


    May 29, 2007
    south of Spain
    fully agree.
  3. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Biological fathers have very limited rights regarding their children if they aren't married to the biological mother, but this varies from state to state.
  4. Biological mom gave birth to you. Your real parents are the ones that raised you. If you were adopted, unless there is something written legally, a biological parent should have no rights.
  5. jwbassman

    jwbassman Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    I would agreed with you. Although courts do look at things a bit differently and see "biological" as giving some credit in most cases. But I think that any judge deciding on any type of custody has to take into account more that just whether on not a parent is "biological". In your case, most parents have to basically sign away their rights when they give a child up for adoption. You're right though, a "parent" is more than just an egg or sperm donor...
  6. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    Well put...
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    This is pretty cut-and-dry in our society.

    Biological parents have rights over their children unless they voluntarily relinquish them or are shown to be unfit. As hbarcat points out, in the instance of separation, the majority of the rights are (fairly or not) routinely given to the mother.
  8. IAmTheDood

    IAmTheDood Shake and Bake

    Dec 15, 2006
    Waterford, MI
    having been through this a lot with the ex and her children...

    biological parents still have rights unless said child has been adopted.

    If the parents are split up it's up to the courts to determine what type of custody and how much rights each parents have ... you can have joint custody with physical going to one parent ... which still pretty much gives the same rights to the other parent.

    I would imagine you are referring to what rights your fiance's daughter's mother has in terms of rights ..

    you need to look at his divorce papers to find out .. if nothing really weird happened ... they have joint legal custody with physical custody going to the father. Although you would be considered a step mom, you would have no legal rights over the bilogical mother until she would sign off for adoption. The mother could also sign off on the child and give full custody to the father, then she would have no rights, but you would not have any "rights" either until you adopt the child.
  9. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    In the UK (or Scotland at least), even if you are the biological father of a child and have raised him/her from birth, you have no rights over that child unless you are married to the mother.
  10. disenchant

    disenchant You can't plagiarize yourself.

    Aug 9, 2006
    Elgin, IL
    I'm not talking about anything personal. It was just a discussion I had with a friend about what our society views as "rights" going to a biological parent, especially one that was abusive or has proven themselves unfit. The government always seems to send the children back to their biological parent. And the view is that the biological parent has "rights" even if they have taken no interest in the child's life, or done anything to raise them, or have even abused them.

    Just interested in people's personal opinions.
  11. flakeh

    flakeh Banned

    Apr 21, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Prolly just repeating whats been said here...

    The biological parent does have rights over the child. They also have responsibilities to withhold to keep these rights. When adoption is the issue, then the adoptive parents then obtain the rights from the biological parent. They are now the legal caregivers/parental figure. the Bio. parents lose the rights and ownership of child. they decided to post the child for adoption, they lose the rights.
  12. It's an irrelevant question to us. When you use the word "Rights", you are using a term with a legal definition. The answer therefore is based only in law. Our opinions don't matter.

    The answer in all cases is: reference the laws and case law of your state.

    Nothing else matters.
  13. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    The rights need to be there due to the financial obligation that also goes there. Why should a guy get stuck with paying child support if he has no rights?

    If the rights were taken away so would the child support, it is just a matter of being fair.

    This is also why I adopted my stepson. I am even listed on the birth certificate now!!!!!
  14. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    My opinion is that once a child has been adopted, either voluntarily given up or taken by the government, the biological parents should have no rights.

    As far as the government sending children back to unfit homes, this may vary from state to state. In any case, I think it's rare. I'm somewhat familiar with the custody/adoption laws in California. If a child is voluntarily given up for adoption and the adoption has been finalized, the biological parents have no rights.

    If a child is taken from the biological parents by social services, the biological parents are given a reunification plan that may include counseling, parenting classes, and possibly drug rehab. They have a time limit (6 months to a year in most cases) to complete the plan. If they fail, they lose custody permanently and no longer have rights.

    I agree with the law in both of these scenarios.

  15. imo the people who raise you are your parents
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - how can the 'government' decide who is a fit parent - isn't that the big problem with society today?

    There are no criteria for what makes you a good parent and who is to say that somebody else is a good parent ?

    If the 'government' was to say that nobody was allowed to be a parent unless they fulfilled certain criteria - they would undoubtedly be accused of totalitarianism/facism etc. :meh:

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