Parental rights are the inherent rights of parents to raise their children and make important decisions about their upbringing and they assume those parental rights for any child born to them. But there are increasingly diverse parent child situations that exist in modern families today: children born to unmarried parents, adopted children, surrogate mothers, anonymous sperm donors, and artificial insemination. So how does the law clarify parental rights in situations when the parent is not biologically related to the child?
Do non-biological parents have the same parental rights as biological parents?
A non-biological parent is a parent who is raising a child that they are not biologically related to. Through legal adoption, a non-biological parent can receive parental rights and be legally recognized as the child’s parent.
A non-biological father is someone who has assumed the financial responsibility of supporting and raising a child as a step-father or long-term partner of the mother. It also refers to situations where a father has raised a child he assumed to be his biological child and later found out that it wasn’t. If the parents separate, he could pursue parental rights over the child even though he isn’t the biological father. In those cases, he could argue that he is a de facto parent.
The parental rights of adoptive parents can sometimes depend on the state’s adoption laws and if the biological parents’ rights have been terminated. But once the adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents will have the same legal parental rights as biological ones. The same goes for step-parent or same-sex parent adoptions. If the adoptive couple later divorces, those parental rights would be extended in relation to child custody, visitation and child support.
Gay Couples Have Equal Paternal Rights
In 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court issued an important decision about parental rights in gay marriages. The same parental rights that heterosexual couples have over the children of their marriage are now also extended to same-sex couples. Whether or not either spouse is biologically linked to the child, both parents have parental rights to any children either born into or adopted into that marriage.
If you have any concerns about your parental rights, please consult with one of our experienced lawyers regarding your case. At Simon Law Group, PLLC, we can provide you with the legal support you need in dealing with non-biological parent issues. Call now! 480-462-6049