Is it possible for a single parent to terminate the parental rights of a biological dad who has been absent for 15 months?
4 attorney answers
New York does not have a process to terminate a parent's rights. Only the county, in a neglect or abuse case can seek to terminate the rights in a permanency hearing. Even if his name is not on the birth certificate, he could start a paternity action.
The above is a general answer and is not considered legal advice. You should contact an attorney before proceeding to take any legal action, signing any papers or upon service of a summons.
If you were not married and no Acknowledgement of Paternity or Order of Filiation exists, then there are no “rights” to terminate. That said, if everyone concerned has behaved as though such rights existed, the situation could get complicated. I suggest you reach out to a NY Family Law attorney for specific advice. Good luck!
All of Ms. Brown's responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.
If he did not sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity, if he did not establish a parental relationship with the child and there is no court order for child support or paternity then there is no parental relationship to terminate. You should immediately consult with a family law attorney.
Your narrative raises a question as to whether or not the person is the father since there is no legal determination to that effect---you don't need to terminate any rights that do not exist. A simple chat with the local attorney might verify that he has no more rights than a stranger on the street does right now---get to that attorney ASAP. Good luck to you.
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