When Michigan women are in labor with a child, they typically want the father in the delivery room to support them during the process. But, if they don't for some reason, does the man have the right to be there? A recent court case has decided that fathers do not have the right, even if they are married to the mother.
Many court rulings in Michigan are based on previous decisions. However, laws are always changing -- as are family situations. This means that courts must look to the best interests of the child and this could mean setting a precedent. A Michigan man who raised a young boy since birth was recently allowed by a court to retain his parental rights -- even though the man is not the boy's biological father.
In a move that could have far-reaching effects and establish legal precedents in Michigan and other states, a state Supreme Court ruled in favor of a woman who donated an egg cell which was used to artificially inseminate her partner, with the two women separating after the child's birth. There was disagreement on whether state laws prohibit anonymous egg or sperm donors from claiming child custody or parental rights. The court was divided, but ultimately handed down a 4-3 ruling.
A Michigan man who fathered a child with a married woman is contesting a law that allowed the woman to deny him his parental rights. The man is questioning the constitutionality of the statute, which grants mothers significant discretion in deciding whether biological fathers can claim paternity rights following the birth of a child conceived during an adulterous affair.
Michigan law currently does not recognize marriage between two individuals of the same sex, but it does not restrict such couples from successfully adopting and raising a child. This can make it frustrating and difficult for gay couples who want to start families in the state, as Michigan only grants certain parental rights to one of the parents.
A Michigan man says he and his ex-wife did not abuse their 2-year-old daughter, who police discovered unconscious at her mother's home. He and his ex-wife had their parental rights temporarily stripped following the incident, but the man says he is dedicated to ensuring he does not lose permanent custody of his other daughter. Though he is listed as the younger girl's legal parent, he claims that he is only the biological father of her 4-year-old sister.
Gold medal Olympic skier Bode Miller hopes to gain custody of two children following his wife's recent miscarriage. The five-time medalist and World Cup-winner has filed two suits against two different women in order to claim paternity and ultimately secure child custody of two children, one of whom has yet to be born.
Would it be beneficial for Michigan children to have more than two parents? Legislation in California to expand legal parenting could provide more resources for kids when families involve more than two adults who care about a child's well-being. The proposal recognizes "extra" parents who are connected to children through same-sex marriages, surrogacy, fertility methods and adoption.
At the beginning of June, legislators in Michigan passed bills which, if signed into law by the governor, would help biological dads assert their fathers' rights to be involved in their children's lives. The bill would be especially helpful in circumstances where the child's mother was married to someone else when the child was born.
In Michigan, as well as nationwide, an increasing number of parents are unmarried. It is estimated that approximately four out of 10 children in the U.S. are born to parents who were never wed. In one state, authorities are experimenting with a new specialized court designed to assist unmarried parents with their unique challenges. That includes a heightened focus on fathers' rights.