February 28, 2014

Court ruling allows man to keep his parental rights

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.

The 40-year-old man was married to his 35-year-old wife when she gave birth to the boy. The couple married in 2005 and divorced in 2011. The father of the boy — now 5 years old — is a 48-year-old man whom the woman had an affair with. The woman married her lover after the divorce.

The husband assumed the boy was his and treated him as his own. The mother, however, noticed that the boy looked like her new husband. A paternity test was ordered and it showed that the new husband was in fact the father.

The woman tried to terminate her ex-husband’s parental rights. However, the court ruled against her, claiming that it would be in the best interests of the child to allow the husband to retain his rights. The boy and his biological father have never established a relationship, while the ex-husband has developed a strong bond with the boy.

This is a landmark ruling, proving that the rights of men are not ignored. The court could have easily terminated the man’s parental rights because of the fact that he is not the biological father. Instead, the judge made a decision based on a relationship, not DNA.

Source: Macomb Daily, “Macomb Township man retains parental rights for son fathered by another man” Jameson Cook, Feb. 17, 2014