A young man is taking his extremely personal and stressful custody battle and turning it into a message of hope for prospective fathers in Arizona and across the nation. The man is now a happy father of a 2-year-old little girl, but he had to fight long and hard to have the right to raise her. The child’s mother placed her for adoption without the father’s consent, and by the time he found out and began asserting his child custody rights, a prospective adoptive family had already initiated the adoption process.
The man was dating a woman he met at work when she became pregnant. The couple decided to have the child and raise her together. However, the man is African-American and the woman is white, and her parents did not feel that having a mixed-race child was appropriate. Soon, the man found himself cut out of doctor’s visits and any other information about his baby’s development.
Knowing that something was amiss, he took the step of signing up for the Responsible Fathers Registry in his state of residence. That was a good move, because that was how he eventually learned that his daughter had been born and placed for adoption. He immediately took steps to assert his parental rights, and he was ultimately able to prevail in those efforts.
He is now raising his daughter on his own, and both father and child are thriving and happy. He has shared his child custody story with others, and urges all prospective fathers to take a proactive approach toward protecting their parental rights. Not every state has a registry like the one that he was able to access, but more and more states are opting to create such a resource. For Arizona men who learn that their partner is pregnant, it is absolutely imperative to take action as early as possible.
Source: ebony.com, “When a Daddy Fights the System for His Little Girl“, Grant Clark, Dec. 7, 2016