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Leslie D.
Leslie D., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 201
Experience:  Experience in family law, abuse and assault victim advocate
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My 20 year old daughter is pregnant. Although we are not thrilled

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My 20 year old daughter is pregnant. Although we are not thrilled with the father of this child (been jailed, drives w/o license, conman, etc.) he says he wants to be part of this child's life. I'm not sure if this is just "talk" right now or if he means it. If he means it, I wouldn't deny him his rights. I would just like to know what his rights are and what hers and our rights are as her parents and providers for her and the unborn child. How does she go about getting child support? Does she need his permission if she decides to let the child go to adoptive parents? Can he fight for custody (any chance with his background? He (22) lives with his unemployed mother who are always facing eviction.) Sorry to ramble...I'm full of questions. Thank you ~ Susan

Hello Susan,


Both parents will have equal parental rights upon birth, although sometimes fathers must establish paternity before the court will recognize their rights (although doing so is fairly simple and shouldn't be a problem for the father). He can file a petition asking the court to grant him full custody, but it will be probably be unlikely that he will be awarded custody with his background. It is more likely that he will be granted some visitation, but if your daughter can show that contact with him is potentially harmful to the child, the court may order that visitation be supervised or limited.


After the child is born, your daughter can get child support either by filing a petition to establish child support, or she can contact your state's child support enforcement agency to initiate the process to establish support.


If your daughter decides that she would like to place the child up for adoption, she will need the father's agreement to do so, as his parental rights would need to be terminated before any legal adoption can take place.


Generally, parental rights are reserved for the biological parents only and grandparents do not have the level of rights that parents have with respect to custody of the child. However, some states do give grandparents the right to seek legal visitation and in some cases, custody, of a child. If you let me know what state you are located in, I can provide some additional detail about your specific state law. If your daughter does decide that adoption is the right choice, you may be able to adopt the child if you can get the father to agree to the adoption.


Please let me know if you have any additional questions. If this answers your question, please click "accept" so I may receive credit for my answer.


Best wishes and good luck,



Leslie D. and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We all live in Florida. Thanks for the information.

Chapter 752 of Florida Statutes sets forth the circumstances in which grandparents can file for visitation:



752.01 Action by grandparent for right of visitation; when petition shall be granted.--

(1) The court shall, upon petition filed by a grandparent of a minor child, award reasonable rights of visitation to the grandparent with respect to the child when it is in the best interest of the minor child if:

(a) The marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved;

(b) A parent of the child has deserted the child; or

(c) The minor child was born out of wedlock and not later determined to be a child born within wedlock as provided in s. 742.091.

(2) In determining the best interest of the minor child, the court shall consider:

(a) The willingness of the grandparent or grandparents to encourage a close relationship between the child and the parent or parents.

(b) The length and quality of the prior relationship between the child and the grandparent or grandparents.

(c) The preference of the child if the child is determined to be of sufficient maturity to express a preference.

(d) The mental and physical health of the child.

(e) The mental and physical health of the grandparent or grandparents.

(f) Such other factors as are necessary in the particular circumstances.

(3) This act does not provide for grandparental visitation rights for children placed for adoption under chapter 63 except as provided in s. 752.07 with respect to adoption by a stepparent.


It looks like you have grounds to file for visitation here because the child's parents are not married.


Florida law also allows for extended relatives of a child to file for temporary custody in certain circumstances. 751.03(8) of Florida Statutes states that parents must either consent to the temporary custody or they must have abandoned, abused, or neglected, the child. Assuming the father will not consent to you having temporary custody, you may still be able to get custody if your daughter consents and you can prove that the child's father has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child.


Please let me know if you have any other questions.


Best of luck!