Legal Issues For Jax: Do Biological Parents Deserve Custody Just Because They Are Biological Parents?

Jaxon

Jaxon is a happy boy when he is with his mom...
Jaxon is a happy boy when he is with his mom... | Source

What If They Are Just Using Their Child?

©LaDena Campbell 2012 aka justateacher

My grandson is once again spending the night at our house. I am watching him sleep with his little bottom stuck up in the air, his teddy and favorite blankie held tight in his arms. I am watching him pretty closely right now - he has been through a tough week.

Jax will be eighteen months old soon. He is a bright, loving, caring little man. He wants to share his toys and his food with everyone. At his daycare, he wants to hug all the other children and has taught them how to kiss the daycare teachers. He gives "high fives" and "knuckles" to everyone he meets. He has got one of the brightest little smiles I have ever seen. He can tell you what sounds the animals make and tell you which "vroom vroom" belongs to his Papa in a crowd of motorcycles. He loves animals as much as he loves people. All in all he is an amazing young man. I would feel that way even if he wasn't my grandson.


Parental legal responsibilities, according to DirectGov


  • providing a home for the child
  • having contact with and living with the child
  • protecting and maintaining the child
  • disciplining the child
  • choosing and providing for the child's education
  • being responsible for the child's property
  • appointing a guardian for the child, if necessary
  • allowing confidential information about the child to be disclosed

Biological Father

Although I know all of these things about my grandson (as does everyone else who spends any amount of time with him) his biological father can not tell you any of this. Although he has been given a chance to spend time with Jax, until very recently he hasn't cared enough to want to spend any time with his own son. He thought his time was better spent in more adult activities that I won't go into here. But recently he remarried...and I believe (my very own opinion) that his new wife couldn't figure out why he wasn't spending time with my grandson. And he has decided that now he wants to be a "father."

Kansas Law

In Kansas "a father has parental rights that states describe as parental responsibilities. The responsibilities include safeguarding a child's welfare, having financial responsibility, having regular contact with the child and offering direction and guidance. A father will be a biological parent or an adoptive one. In Kansas, the father and mother have equal rights. Mohamed Ali, eHow Contributor"

Joint Custody

He is now fighting for shared custody. And even though he had been offered time to spend with Jax and he has refused - the judge has agreed that he will get that time. This week was the first time that Jax has spent time longer than a few hours with his biological father. It saddened and angered me to know that my grandson had to spend time in the company of this "man."


Other Legalities

"States generally require a putative father to register or acknowledge paternity within a certain amount of time otherwise their right to notice is void. Child Custody Coach"

Abusive Conditions

When my daughter spent time in the home my grandson had been taken to, she witnessed a single mom who lived with three or four grown children -all who had a variety of drugs readily available. There were children around who were shaken and spanked and slapped, along with little arms and hair being pulled when they misbehaved. These children were left in dirty diapers for hours on end before they were changed. This was one of the main reasons my daughter no longer wanted to be with this "man."

My grandson was taken to this environment for three days because a judge felt that this "man" should have parental rights because he is the "biological father." He came home in a wet diaper and a diaper rash worse than he had ever had. There was much evidence of a bowel movement that had not been entirely cleaned up. He had bug bites up and down his arm. His demeanor was not the same happy, smiling little man that had left his mother's arms three days earlier. And tonight he was scared to go to sleep on his own.

It saddens me that my grandson must be put through all of this. It scares me that if he has to go through this again, he may come home with more than just a horrible diaper rash. It worries me that there have been several deaths in the past few months of children left with boyfriends and "fathers" that someone felt needed to spend time with their biological children.


Legal Parents Must Support Their Children

"(T)he right to be considered a full legal parent of a child can be lost if a parent fails to exercise parental responsibilities. For example, all legal parents have a duty to support their children, whether or not they have physical custody of them. The key is that, if you are not the parent with custody, you must stay involved with your child -- visiting and providing support -- to the best of your ability. Copyright 2008 Nolo "

Legal Issues For Fathers

Legal rights for biological fathers are changing in many states. Usually this is a good thing. There are too many women in this world who want to deny the fathers of their children any rights or visitation or, sometimes, any knowledge of the children. Most fathers deserve to know their children and deserve to have a right to share custody of their children. And, now, legally in most states they have these rights. But each case should be looked into individually and see what is best for the child - not what is best for the lawyers and judges and the even the parents. The children are who matter.

*UPDATE*UPDATE*UPDATE*UPDATE*

UPDATE*UPDATE*UPDATE*



Jax will be three years old soon. His biological father has divorced the girl that wanted Jax in his life. He has been with several other women since then. Every time he gets into a new relationship, and that person finds out about Jaxon, then Jaxon is again subjected to his biological father. Luckily, this doesn't happen on a weekly basis, even though Jax's mom has to make him available every other week, this "man" only picks him up when the mood strikes him. Jaxon can now tell us what goes on, and it is bad. He has told us that he only eats at McDonald's on Fridays and eats potato chips and candy all the other time. He always has a rash when he returns...this will stop since Jaxon has been potty trained...

Jax is very lucky now. He has a man that has been in his life since he was a few months old. This man loves Jaxon's mom, and loves Jaxon as if he were his biological son. Jaxon calls him Daddy. (He calls his biological father by his first name.) Jax's mom and Daddy will get married soon. Jax will be getting a new brother soon. He is still a loving, caring, happy little boy. He will be a great big brother!

UPDATE*

Jaxon is nearly five now. His little brother is a year old. We hadn't heard from his biological father for nearly two years. One year and fifty weeks. If it had lasted two more weeks, we could have filed abandonment charges and been done with him. But instead, he decided to file another custody suit. You see, he's married again...

So Jaxon will probably have to have supervised visits with him once again. He doesn't want to go...even though we are trying to encourage him. We just want Jaxon to be happy.


© 2011 LaDena Campbell

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Comments 28 comments

SUSIE DUZY profile image

SUSIE DUZY 5 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

It is disgusting to think that a judge has the ability do this without checking out the environment of the people who will be caring for a baby. After all, a baby cannot say what they want, or what has happened to them.


kashannkilson profile image

kashannkilson 5 years ago from Portland, OR

As a father, I can't tell you how horrifying it is to read your Hub. I simply cannot understand how these "fathers" act and behave the way they do.

What you wrote illustrates what in my opinion is a core problem with our society- expectations of fathers is incredibly low if not non-existent.

I will never forget the day my son was born- the first time I saw him and got to hold him. At that moment, it became perfectly and beautifully clear that my life was no longer about me- it was about the new little life in my arms. There was no question that from that moment on, my job on this planet was to protect and provide for that little person. And not so much out of a sense of duty or responsibility (though those things are certainly present), but more so out of pure unconditional love. And most of my male friends with kids have the same experience.

Sadly, it seems that isn't the case with a lot of men in this country. To the point where we don't even seem to have an expectation that a father will be a (positive) part of his child's life.

Have we reached a point where the courts are so thrilled that a father finally wants to see his child after 18 months (unthinkable) that they will just throw the poor child into that sort of situation without so much as checking to see if its a good place for the kid to be?

Are the expectations so low for dads, that we are willing to look past bug bites, dirty diapers, and assorted neglect, so long as dad finally wants to make a half-assed attempt at responsibility?

My thoughts and prayers go out to your family justateacher, especially baby Jax. I truly hope that at some point his father can get his act together, but until then make sure you keep fighting for what's best for Jax, even if sadly, that means not being around his "dad".


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

SUSIE DUZY and kashannkilson - Thank you for your comments...We will fight 'til the bitter end for our Jax...the money spent on lawyers so far could have bought a house for him and his family and every penny is well worth it...We are documenting EVERYTHING about his visits...It was so wonderful to wake up to his giggles this morning...

Jax has a "dad"- a wonderful young man who is helping to care for him and his mama - a man who gave up a single partying life so he could be a daddy to a little boy who is not his biological son, but is his son in every other way..in that respect he is a very lucky little man...


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

There's no ex-son or ex-daughter. Whatever the circumstances they still his children, though they aren't belong his father completely. Father has right to see his children grow up. Very inspiring hub. Take care!

Prasetio


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

I agree that fathers have a right to see their children grow up...unfortunately the "man" that fathered my grandson didn't have a real interest in his child until he thought he might be able to hurt my daughter by fighting for custody. If he wanted to start a relationship with his child and really loved and cared for him, I wouldn't have a problem with him having shared custody. This is just not the case this time...


Heather McMillan profile image

Heather McMillan 5 years ago from Hampton, VA

My son's biological father has never so much as called or written in the now nine years my son has been born. I have never seen any child support and I am okay with that. Up until last year I didn't know where he lived, but the state has found him and is pursuing support. Like you, I would be afraid of just letting my son go for visits. I would like my son to have a relationship with his father, but it saddens me that after nine years his father has done nothing to even try. Prasetio is right, they may be the biological father, but when they won't act like a father, you must do what is in the best interest to protect your child/grandchild. I pray that your grandson will no have to be traumitized any more and your daughter and her new husband can continue to raise him in the loving way that has made him such a joy!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Heather - it is very sad when father's do not want to send time with their children. I feel that if Jax's "father" had not remarried and his new wife had not questioned things, we would never have heard from him again. And then when he saw how much he was hurting my daughter, he only fought harder and played the "oh poor me" card.

I will try to keep everyone updated.


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 4 years ago from Florida

I am going through the same thing and it is awful. 12 years not a dime, no time to spend with his child and not even 1 Christmas or birthday present. The state is allowing him to get away with this. Last week I confronted the judge when they gave yet another continuance, to his girlfirend who is pretending to be a lawyer but is a librarian. I asked, "Why must my son endure one more day in poverty because his biological Father can't be troubled to pay? How is the State acting in the best interest of my son? They are not. They keep saying next month and I have had 12 years of that.

The girlfriend/ librarian has completely compromised her universtiy and the state of Florida committing Fraud.

Tonight I spoke to my son's father grandmother. She is old and dying. I just wanted her to know before she died my son was alright. She recommend I tell my son his father rejected him. She wanted to know what I had told my son of them? I said, "You have done nothing for him. What can I say?"

Good news justateacher. In Florida they put men in jail and make them stay there and work until their child support is paid in full. My son's Father will be in there very soon along with his girlfriend.

It is the worst thing in the world to go through. I feel for you. My Mom died trying to keep my son safe.

The best advice I can give is get through it while Jax is young enough not to remember. It is much harder on my older son.

JT


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

I'm sorry that you have been living through this mess.for 12 years. I hope we can get this all taken care of way before that.


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 4 years ago from Florida

I had hoped as well but these things get really nasty.

Best of Luck to you.

JT


deannachase profile image

deannachase 4 years ago from Bowling Green Ohio

any updates? I'm glad Jax has you fighting for him.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Jax still has to go to his biological father every two weeks...sometimes the biological father picks him up and sometimes he "forgets." Just this past weekend, Jax was left at the daycare where he is supposed to be picked up at nine o'clock in the morning, and didn't get picked up until his mom called at 5:30 and found at that he had not been picked up. We are still trying to gather the money for the lawyer so that we can get things changed for Jax.


deannachase profile image

deannachase 4 years ago from Bowling Green Ohio

My heart goes out to you all. Let's just say we were so relieved when the judge in our custody case ruled that my 16 year old stepson was not required to visit his mother. I'm always amazed how she can take our finally stabilized teenager and turn him into a freaked out mess in under 20 minutes. Here's hoping Jax dad "forgets" him for the next 16 years


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

deanna- I hope he forgets, as well. Jax will be much better off without this "man" in his life...


deannachase profile image

deannachase 4 years ago from Bowling Green Ohio

I read this before I went to bed list night. Prasetio's comment had me twitching. There is a different between legal and ethical. Of course I'm late to this argument as I just became your follower. Love your writings.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

deanna - I agree...and thank you for the follow!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

In a few words, I feel for you, for Jax, for your daughter...for JT and women caught up in this system. Where is the humanity of this world. No ownder women rather live alone. My prayers for you Justateacher and those valuable single mommies!

lord


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Thank you, for Lord, for your comments...and for your prayers...


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

If they would put the fathers through a complete home check and check backgrounds of all the people that are in the home. Maybe they would be putting children in safer environment. Many fathers would back down if they had to go through all of that.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Moonlake...I agree..home checks would be great!


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 3 years ago

The best line in this hub JustaTeacher was where you state to take each case individually - I know of one case where a father has Aspergers Syndrome but he really wanted to have access to his child and provision was made for him to see his child under supervision - no-one just knows how to be a parent and there is no manual. Also, with the amount of separations going on it is harder for people to get up to speed when they have had time off from minding their child. But I think children need to know their biological parent. Children need parents who are willing to learn how to be a responsible and caring parent. Parents have rights too and need support to care for their children. In extreme cases, as you say - children are definitely better off without their parent especially if that parent shows no desire to learn how to better raise a child. Another problem: can we afford the time to bring some parents up to speed? Great Hub JustaTeacher on a difficult topic.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Psychicdog...thanks for reading...I would love for Jaxon to have a great relationship with his biological father....I just wish his biological father had the desire to be a better father for him....would love it if he were made to take some sort of parenting classes...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

This makes me furious, just because a man is a sperm donor, in no way makes him a father, sad but true, the same for a mother who neglects her child. My best wishes for Jax and your family. Thank you for sharing..


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

always - thanks for reading - Jax and his family are doing better right now...his sperm donor is between girlfriends right now so that means that he is not thinking about Jax...it's sad but its true...


RealityTalk profile image

RealityTalk 3 years ago from Planet Earth

I read your Hub and I feel for you as a parent of a child. I feel most "real" parents, and by real I mean someone who legitimately cares about their child, understand exactly how you feel. My children are still young and not ready to make me a grandparent, but I know the day will come, and I harbor an inner fear that a bad choice could be made when they select a wife or husband. I hope my wife and I have instilled enough wisdom in our children that they will know what to look for in a spouse. And I hope they will make a sound decision based on more than sexual attraction.

But I feel I need to say, as much as I empathize with you, I take exception to a biological father being referred to as a "sperm donor." You probably used that descriptor out of anger and to most likely and accurately describe little Jax's father, but I hope you do not mean to refer to all fathers as mere sperm donors.

I have been an attorney for over 20 years and early in my career I worked in Family Court as a law guardian. For those unfamiliar with a law guardian's purpose. A law guardian is retained by the Court to represent the interests of the child in custodial matters. The Court's purpose is to provide representation for the child independent of representation for the mother and for the father. In my capacity as a law guardian, I visited the homes of the mothers and the fathers when the child was with each parent, so as to see the independent interaction between parent and child. I witnessed many good and loving parents, both mothers and fathers. I also witnessed many questionable parents, both mothers and fathers. I would never refer to a father as a "sperm donor," nor would I ever refer to a mother as a "vaginal container," although there are many biological parents who should not be parents. I and the Court believed that a family should remain together unless circumstances argued otherwise. I gave the father as much benefit of the doubt as the mother. To do otherwise, would be unfair to the child, the mother and the father.

I myself am a parent of three. My son is now 17 and my two daughters are 14 and 10. I will be married to my loving wife for 20 years this July. Both my wife and I work. My wife works outside of the house in a typical corporate atmosphere; an 8 to 6 job. We both wanted our children to be raised by us, not sitters, so I created a home office and I took care of our children while I worked. It never seemed difficult to me. I always felt lucky to be with my children 24/7. My son became well know by the area courts, judges and other lawyers, as well as by all of my clients. I am proud to proclaim I was a forerunner, at least in my County, in that I brought my son with me to house closings and Family Court proceedings. I bottle fed, diaper changed, "boo-boo kissed," and rocked him to sleep while I worked in my home office. Not one of my clients ever complained about my son's being with me. And, on many occasions, other lawyers and my clients flocked to greet and hold him when we came to Court or other offices. Eventually, I had to quit court appearances and tailor the work I accepted to house closings (where most work could be done from the office) when my daughter and then my youngest daughter were born; it was too much to ask of others, myself and my children to take them all with me. I believe as a result of my care of our children, we have a very loving family. My son is constantly on the honor rolls at school. He has been class president. He lettered in sports. He is involved in theater. And, he is very popular in social groups. My daughters have both followed suit. And the girls have emulated their brother's path in studies, sports and theater. We are a very close family with few secrets, which is rare for most families.

I agree there are many fathers who care more about their own personal selves than care about the lives of their children. But I also believe there are many mothers who are just as selfish. I have seen this in my experiences as an attorney as well as in my experiences as a father watching the interaction between mothers and fathers with their children.

I strongly felt compelled to comment here today, because I believe there are a lot of loving, caring fathers; and, fathers are too easily bashed and labeled as "secondary" parents. So many people automatically think of mothers as great parents; a parent who must be proved bad. And these same people think of fathers as "awkward, selfish, children;" a parent who must prove himself as good. During my life experiences as a father and an attorney, I have seen many fathers who are more natural at being a parent than their spouses.

I just wanted to comment that I feel there are good and there are bad parents. But please do not single out fathers as the only bad parents.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Reality - thank you for your response. I did refer to Jax's biological father as a sperm donor out of anger. I know that ninety percent of fathers in the world want to be with their children because they love their children and it is the right thing to do. They want to provide a great life for their child and their child's best interest is what they want. Unfortunately for Jax, this is not the case with his biological father. The only time that this "man" wants to be a part of Jax's life is when he wants to impress the current girl in his life. He has been married and divorced twice since he fathered Jax. He has not held a steady job since Jax was born, mostly - in his words - to avoid child support payments. In just over three years he has paid less than $1000 in child support - and that was to avoid jail - and his mother paid that for him. He is no way a father to Jax. He has had the opportunity to pick up Jax from daycare every Thursday for two years and keep him for three days. In that time he has picked him up a total of six weekends. And those weekends were when he had a girlfriend or a wife. I know that there are many men in this world who would treasure every moment they have with their child. I know that there are many women in this world who keep their children away from fathers only because they are selfish and bitter and not because it is best for the child. Jax's parents are not these parents.

Because you presented your case so politely and professionally, I will take the phrase "sperm donor" from my hub.

Again, thank you for your response!


RealityTalk profile image

RealityTalk 3 years ago from Planet Earth

Thank you for understanding. And I truly feel for you, your daughter, Jax and your family. I am personally familiar with men like Jax's father which enables me to understand your feelings. I certainly can understand your anger. I have seen how a parent's absence from a child's life affects a child; I have seen these ill affects in my personal as well as professional capacity. I wish little Jax, you and your family all the best.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Again, thank you, Reality Talk, for your kind comments.

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