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