Thank you for your post.
First of all, if the biological father is not on the birth certificate, legally he has NO rights to the child. To get rights, he would have to file a petition asserting his paternity
rights which would also force him to start paying support and other obligations for the child. However your daughter, if she does have custody, can choose to provide access to the child for him, whether or not you approve.
You do most definitely have recourse. Be aware, however, that getting guardianship
for a grandparent is fairly difficult but is not impossible. You must prove that you have a very strong bond with the child (that can be proven if the child lives with you or you raised him) as that provides the court with the ability to see that you have an important role in his life.
Second, your guardianship petition MUST claim unfitness on the part of the mother. To prove unfitness you must show a history or evidence of:
- domestic violence
- mental illness
- drug use
- alcohol abuse
- criminal record/history/parole/probation
- moral turpitude
From your facts it does appear that you have a legitimate claim for neglect (if she is only a mother 1 day a week AND she is attempting to expose her child to a dangerous influence). Additionally the child's behavior can also show unfitness. To strengthen your chances you may want to contact CPS and have them investigate also. If they find grounds, they may choose to take the child away from the mother and provide the child to you as a formal guardian.
Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 11/1/2010 at 5:45 PM EST