Suppose an unmarried couple has a child. They break up so she can pursue a career elsewhere, the woman remarries. Let’s assume that she has primary custody of the child (though that question was not addressed in the show). The relationship between the mother and father is strained due to the breakup but otherwise cordial (i.e., no violence, abuse, etc.). The newly married couple plans to live in Europe. She asks the father to relinquish all paternal rights so that her new husband can adopt the child. He resists and she threatens legal action.
Is the father legally powerless to keep the mother from taking the child out of the country?
What would be the advantage to either the mother or the new husband for the husband to adopt the child? The child’s going to live with them anyway.
What justification would the court have to see to take all paternal rights away from the father, should a suit go to court?
I am watching old episodes of “Lost” that I had not seen before and this occurred in the first season. It sounded like another case of entertainment completely twisting around the subject matter to make it fit the story. Just wondering how much is based in fact.
IANAL, etc etc, but in Spain at least the wife’s husband wouldn’t have any more custodial rights than, say, the kid’s grandparents. If the wife died the kid would be sent to his bio dad, with nothing the not-officially-foster-dad could do to stop it (well, yeah, lengthy custodial battle, but by the time that was over, the kid would be taller than either father).
Im no lawyer but im a single dad who has been through the court system and been on the receiving end on a similar situation. This is actully fairly common, you see it on legal forums all the time.
The child cant be adopted without the dads ok. Newlyweds also wont be allowed to adopt, even with dads ok. The rule of thumb i have heard is that they need to live together for a year before even attempting.
The court probably wouldnt allow the child to be moved to Europe, as long as dad is not a deadbeat and actually spends time with the kid. The mother would probably have three options, leave kid with dad, fly kid to see dad as much as they see him now, or dont move.
The whole situation makes mom look bad to the court for attempting to replace dad and move the child to the other side of the world.
In researching passports for an upcoming family trip, I learned that both parents must be physically present to apply for a US passport for a minor under the age of sixteen (as Walt was). There are ways around this, through court order, adoption, death of a parent, etc.
In the case of the Lost plotline, I can see it happening that way. Michael, while not necessarily a bad guy, was drifting from job to job and had not been an involved father. The mom was a professional woman with resources. She wants to go to Australia for professional and personal reasons. She applies for the necessary passport and other paperwork for Walt and runs into Michael who stonewalls her. So, she threatens to bring to bear her superior resources. Realizing that he cannot compete with her deeper pockets, Michael is beaten. Remember the golden rule: She who has the gold makes the rules. However, Michael does seem to retain parental rights since he is summoned to Australia to collect Walt after the death of his mother.
Common enough that it has happened to me. I am the adoptive father of my wife’s daughter. She and the other man were married at the time of her birth (though not conception) and he was named on the birth certificate. Their marriage broke up and he did not keep up with his meager child support payments.
Later, I came along and we got married. When we had the resources available, I pursued the adoption. The girl was six years old at the time. Her biological father never asserted any visitation or other rights in our three years together. He never voluntarily paid child support (the only payments my wife received were from the Texas AG’s Office). So, we asked him to relinquish his parental rights. He did so. We then went to court armed with this affidavit waiving his rights. The judge performed several actions: she relieved the other man of his parental rights and privileges, she granted new rights and privileges to me (after sternly telling me about the obligations, etc.), she legally changed the girl’s name, she ordered that a new birth certificate be issued (oddly, no father’s name is on the new certificate), and she ordered that the whole matter be sealed. [ETA: Neither the child nor the biological father were present at these proceedings. There was more to this whole process, but this is the gist of it.]
If I remember correctly, Brian (the new husband) was the one who summoned Michael to Australia and voluntarily surrendered custody of Walt to him; Michael had previously relinquished his parental rights in a scenario similar to DrumGod’s. The reason why Brian did this was unclear; he said something about how “bad things happen when Walt is around”, but this was never revisited (and may never be, at this point.)