California identifies different groups of parents. These include alleged, biological, intended, and presumed parents. Whether you have rights and responsibilities concerning your child depends on your group and not necessarily whether you are biologically related to your child.
If you want custody of or visitation with your child, you must be recognized as your child’s legal parent. You must establish parentage if you aren’t automatically considered your child’s legal parent.
The laws and processes required to have parental rights and responsibilities are complicated. That is why it is important to have a family law attorney help with your case.
An alleged parent is a person the natural mother says is the child’s father or mother. A person can also be considered an alleged parent if they appear at a dependency hearing and claim they are the child’s parent.
The Rights of an Alleged Parent
Although the natural mother might recognize a man or woman as their child’s other parent, or the other person asserts themselves as such, they are not considered a legal parent in the eyes of the law. Thus, they do not have the right to receive a custody order. However, they do have the right to prove themselves as the child’s legal parent to establish parental rights and responsibilities.
Generally, biological parentage refers to the status of a man who shares genes with the child. A man may be considered a child’s biological parent if a DNA test proves such.
The Rights of a Biological Parent
A child’s father might be biologically related to the child. Still, if he’s not married to the child’s mother, he does not have parental rights and responsibilities. In other words, he can’t ask the court to make custody or visitation orders. He can, however, establish paternity to be recognized as the child’s other legal parent.
The term ‘intended parents’ is typically reserved for matters involving assisted reproduction, meaning one parent conceives a child with a donated egg or semen. It applies in situations where the parents are married or unmarried or in a domestic partnership or not, and one of the individuals in the relationship gives birth.
The intended parent is the person who conceives and gives birth to the child as well as the other individual in the relationship. The other individual must provide their consent in writing to be considered the child’s other intended parent. However, absent written consent, the other individual may be recognized as the intended parent if an oral agreement existed between them and the parent who gives birth that each would be the child’s intended parent.
The Rights of Intended Parents
Intended parents have legal parental rights to a child.
A person may be considered the presumed parent of a child if specific criteria are met.
The criteria include:
- Being married to or in a domestic partnership with the child’s mother and the child is born during the marriage or domestic partnership.
- Attempting to marry the child’s mother before the child’s birth.
- Marrying the child’s mother after the child’s birth and either:
- The presumed parent’s name is on the birth certificate, or
- The presumed parent voluntarily agrees to support the child.
- Accepting the child into their home and raising them on their own.
The Rights of Presumed Parents
A presumed parent is considered a child’s legal parent. Therefore, they have the right to seek custody and visitation.
Biological parents and alleged parents do not automatically have parental rights. If they would like to get a custody or visitation order from the court, they must establish parentage to do so. Establishing parentage means that a court has recognized the individual as the child’s legal father or mother.
The individual can establish parentage by completing and submitting a voluntary declaration of parentage or paternity. They can also file a request with a court to make a determination.
Retain Experienced Legal Services
At Claery & Hammond, LLP, we recognize the importance of being able to spend consistent and quality time with your child. We also know that families come in all shapes and sizes and that being able to get custody of or visitation with your child can be challenging, especially when dealing with complex and sometimes confusing laws.
Our San Diego team is here to help with these matters. Please contact us at (619) 567-6704 today.