Legal Question in Family Law in Louisiana

custody and adoption

What legal right does the biological father have who signed the birth certificate,yet wasn't married to the mother,and hasn't paid support nor been involved with the child in 2+ years have? Does the mother naturally have legal(or sole) custody of the child if she has been the only parent involved in the child's life financially/physically or do you have to petition the court for that legal right? If the father hasn't supported the child financially or hasn't been present, how much say does he have to contest an adoption?

Asked on 12/04/01, 9:16 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nick Pizzolatto, Jr. Pizzolatto Law Office

Re: custody and adoption

His consent to adoption "MAY" be dispensed with if he has failed to comply with a "COURT ORDER OF SUPPORT" without just cause for a period of at least 6 months, OR if he has refused or failed to visit, communicate, or attempt to communicate with the child without just cause for a period of at least 6 months.

His consent should be sought and if not given, then he should be served with a copy of the adoption petition, claiming he would not consent to the adoption and stating that his consent is not required for whatever reason is applicable. If he contests the adoption, then the court will decide what is in the child's best interest.

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Answered on 12/05/01, 11:39 am

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