A father in Florida lives close to his son — only several blocks away — but he isn’t allowed to see him. After a harsh ruling from a state judge, he has been denied all of his parental rights because the woman who gave birth to his baby boy was married.
Under Florida law, when a woman is married, the man who impregnates her cannot assert his paternal rights — even when biological and DNA evidence are presented to prove that he is indeed the father. In this case, the father of the child was living with his girlfriend, who was separated from her husband. She soon became pregnant, however, and that prompted her to go back to her husband.
Even though the man had put together a nursery in his home for his son, the boy never was able to use it. The man will never see his baby’s first steps, and his boy will call another man “dad.” It’s all because of the way Florida family law seeks to honor the sanctity of a marriage above all else. The law is designed to prevent a child from living the embarrassment of being born as a result of infidelity, even if it means denying a biological dad the right to visit with his baby.
Unfortunately, according to the judge who decided the case, the law very cut and dry. When it comes to assigning parentage to a child, marriage will always take precedence over biology in the state of Florida. However, the dad in this case hasn’t given up hope. He is working with a family law attorney to try and challenge the legislation that is keeping him from his child.
Although family laws are created with the best interest of the child or children in mind, changing times and changing societal perceptions may call for changes to the law. Florida residents who feel that they or their families are being unfairly treated by the law may want to reach out to a lawyer and ask for help.
Source: wptv.com, “Biological father challenges Florida law stripping him of parental rights,” Michelle Quesada, Jan. 10, 2017