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    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jul 3, 2010, 10:08 AM
    How to prevent potential California Child Abandonment claim as canadian Dad?
    Hi there, I am a father of a 1 year old girl (I was born in, and reside in Canada currently). Going to try and make a long story short here so I don't waste anyone's time.. I had my ex-girlfriend (she's from California) that I met online move up here for the duration of about a year. We had our daughter, but were struggling financially to a point (I am relatively young, low 20's). So she ended up giving into her parents demand and moving back down to California in with them; and raising our baby there. Her parents never liked the idea of her going to canada to raise a baby there, they wanted her to be at home with them; and they pretty much convinced her to cut me out completely aside from having parenting rights of course. Now I am left here wanting desperately to see my daughter; however I have a few problems.. My ex-girlfriends family has recently contacted me asking to send over papers and have me sign, thus giving up my parenting rights entirely because I am "Not a U.S citizen and can't be here." The problem is.. I am a university student and don't exactly have the funds available to move there and do what they are asking. I love my daughter very much and would do about anything possible to be there for her. I am going to be done with my degree in about 2 years and it is my goal that when I am done to seek immigration to California and be there for my daughter. That is my entire lifetime goal right now to be able to do that. However, I did some reading on child abandonment laws and I have a feeling that they may try and file for abandonment claiming that I have "willingly" left my daughter in an effort to try and get my parenting/guardian rights stripped of me. (If I reject signing these papers).

    To get down to the gist of things.. I don't want to lose my daughter, she is everything to me. I will be able to move there within a few years here and I want to be able to be there for her and raise her. Having a child was a dream come true for me. I want to be able to reside there with her, and raise her properly after I have my education completed so I am able to support her financially and give her the best possible care. I need some advice here.. Do you think my ex and her family will file for abandonment if I tell them I will not sign their papers? I need some advice on what I can do if they elect to.

    I thank you in advance for any help you can offer. It is much appreciated.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    Jul 3, 2010, 10:19 AM

    There are no papers to give up your rights, have no idea what sort of scam the parents are trying to do. ***not unless she has a new partner that is going to adopt the child.

    And she has the right to file for child support that you have to pay.

    Are you on the birth certificate ?
    Have you filed for visitation of the child?
    Are you sending child support, either on your own or court ordered ?
    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jul 3, 2010, 10:36 AM
    Fr_Chuck, thanks very much for your help thus far. Sorry I wasn't specific enough there, my mistake. I will elaborate based on what you have asked me..

    She may already be with someone trying to have our baby adopted by them. Would that be the only reason they would ask me to sign these papers they asked me to sign? What reasoning would they have?

    As to me being on the birth certificate, I am not sure if I am or not. All I know is that my ex's mother just asked me to sign papers she could have her attorney prepare and send over here relinquishing my rights I think she said? I know that sounds silly to say I don't know if I'm on the birth certificate but our daughter was born in California, not in Canada here. My ex girlfriend left here in her last month of pregnancy. Obviously I couldn't stop her against her/her families will, so I just had to deal with it as sad as it made me.

    I have not yet been able to file for child visitation as I am a student and I had thought it would be way too pricey for me to do that. Would I have to fly down to California and meet with a lawyer there to do so? The only way I would be able to do that is with my families financial help. Would you be able to tell me how I would be able to file for visitation or anything else I may need to file for?

    To answer your last question, I am not currently paying child support. I would if I could afford it believe me it's the first thing I would do. They haven't filed for me to pay any I think because they know I am a student and can't really afford it.

    If you could further help me with the situation here I would really appreciate it. Thanks again.
    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Jul 3, 2010, 10:39 AM
    I know it sounds just weird me not knowing if I am on the birth certificate.. Its because she left here and pretty much cut off all contact between us. All I can tell you aside from what I said above in response to you is they have tried to recently contact me in an effort to send over papers to have me sign over my rights.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #5

    Jul 3, 2010, 12:31 PM

    First, if you know the name of the hospital where your child was born, contact them about getting a copy of the birth certificate. If they refuse to give you one, it probably indicates you are not listed.

    As for relinquishing rights, you need to read these papers carefully. If they are from a court or refer to a court docket, then they could be part of an adoption proceeding. If they are part of a court proceeding, then you need to contact this court and inform them that you do not want to relinquish your rights, that mother moved just prior to the child's birth.

    Since the baby was born and now resides in CA, then those courts have jurisdiction. So you WILL need to fight this in CA courts. You NEED to make sure you are established as the legal father. Then you need to get a visitation schedule setup. For an infant this will be difficult if you cannot come to CA.
    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Jul 3, 2010, 12:45 PM
    Understood. Thanks very much for the help. Much appreciated.
    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jul 3, 2010, 06:21 PM
    ScottGem, I understand what you're saying and thanks very much for the help, however one thing confuses me a bit.

    You said to make sure I am established as a legal father, but why would they be asking me to sign over papers to give up my rights if I wasn't that already? I am just a bit confused there as to what the whole them asking me to sign papers and sign over my rights thing means. That's about all.

    Thanks again for your help.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
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    #8

    Jul 3, 2010, 06:27 PM

    Because for an adoption it is required. The father has to be found, and notified.

    Also be careful of any documents, if you don't sign, they may try and go to court to get them taken away if you don't respond or show up to fight.

    Right NOW, by not doing anything you are hurting yourself.

    You have to file in court and get visits and proved to be the father if not on birth certificate.

    So if it means borrowing money, working a second job, you can't afford not to
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #9

    Jul 3, 2010, 07:21 PM

    They may be covering their bases. We don't know until you know what your status is.
    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Jul 3, 2010, 08:43 PM
    Ok, thanks very much guys. You have been of great help. I am going to have to do something for sure even though it won't be easy with the whole student thing. I will come up with a plan.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #11

    Jul 4, 2010, 04:20 AM

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Does your university have a law school? Many law schools have free clinics staffed by students.
    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Jul 4, 2010, 01:47 PM
    Hi ScottGem, Yes we have a very good law program at my school so I will definitely look into that. Thanks for bringing it up. I will keep you guys posted!
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,701, Reputation: 1438
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    #13

    Jul 4, 2010, 03:40 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ragz242 View Post
    Hi ScottGem, Yes we have a very good law program at my school so I will definitely look into that. Thanks for bringing it up. I will keep you guys posted!
    Also for some things you don't have to be there in the court room. You can appear by phone. So you don't always have to fly down for everything that goes through the courts.
    ragz242's Avatar
    ragz242 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Jul 4, 2010, 07:08 PM
    Ah I see. I see about the phone thing but I am sure it would look best if I were there personally. I will however use that as a last resort if I absolutely cannot afford to be there. Thanks califdadof3 for the assistance.

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