Jacqueline W. and Garrett J. are the unwed biological parents of Baby Boy W. When Jacqueline discovered that she was pregnant, she knew right away that Garrett was Baby Boy W.'s biological father, but she denied Garrett's requests that she sign a voluntary declaration of paternity that would have established Garrett as Baby Boy W.'s statutory presumed father. She then sought to have A.H. and M.H. (the Hs) adopt Baby Boy W. at birth, despite the fact that Garrett had repeatedly stated that he wanted to raise Baby Boy W. himself. Garrett filed a petition to establish his paternity, and Jacqueline and the Hs (collectively, appellants) filed a petition to terminate his parental rights. The trial court found that Garrett established his paternity rights under Kelsey S., denied appellants' petition, and entered judgment in Garrett's favor, thereby halting the Hs' adoption of Baby Boy W.I would have thought that this would be uncontroversial. An adoption should require both parents to sign off on it.
If the dad is unknown, and only asserts his rights years later, then I can understand reluctance to reverse an adoption that had been in place for years. But this dad vigorously asserted his rights and opposed the adoption before the birth.
The adoption industry was unhappy with this decision, and got California to pass a new law nullifying fathers rights:
A California law passed this week limits the extent to which paternity status can halt adoption proceedings.In other words, the family court judge can do whatever he feels like doing, without having to respect the parental rights of an unmarried father opposing an adoption.
Assembly Bill 1049, signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday, clarifies a judge’s ability to consider an offer or refusal to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity as a factor in establishing or terminating parental rights, according to a press release from California Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R), who introduced the bill.
The California Academy of Adoption Attorneys (CAAA) sponsored the bill in the wake of the California Court of Appeals’ decision in a case known as Adoption of Baby Boy W. ...
A judge ruled that Garrett W.’s offer to declare paternity of the child gave him the right to veto the adoption. After the decision, Baby Boy W. was removed from the adoptive parents with whom he was placed, according to a summary of the case.
CAAA Fellow Allison Foster Davis said that Adoption of Baby Boy W. created uncertainty and could lead to more situations in which a mother places her child for adoption and the baby’s father later declares parental rights.
“We want people to know upfront what their rights are, and if the father has veto rights, that baby should not be placed for adoption,” Davis said.
The new law states that “a person’s offer or refusal to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity may be considered as a factor, but shall not be determinative as to the issue of legal parentage in any proceedings regarding the establishment or termination of parental rights.”
“It will not affect the specific people involved in that case,” said Patterson’s communications director, Alisha Gallon, in an e-mail. “However, AB 1049 does overrule the portion of Baby Boy W. that said that any many who offers to sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity is automatically entitled to presumed father status.”
This law makes no sense, unless you have some sort of leftist-feminist belief that fathers rights should be diminished at every opportunity. If you simply want orderly adoptions, the easiest rule is to require both parents to consent.
The law also says:
This bill would additionally provide that the spouse of a women who conceives through assisted reproduction with oocytes donated for reproductive purposes is treated in law as if he or she were the natural parent of the child, and the woman who conceives the child is treated in law as the natural parent unless the woman is a surrogate mother, as defined.So two lesbians are to be considered the natural parents, even tho they do not provide the sperm or the egg.
Face it, men do not have any parental rights unless they somehow get sole child custody. Our society is increasingly structured around the idea that men should be financial supporting women who have all the parental rights. I do not see that changing anytime soon. I did not even notice any opposition to extreme anti-father laws like this one.
This is just one of many trends that are making modern civilization worse, in my opinion.k Many of these trends are not fixable, so I am not going waste time and energy trying to fix them.