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I am sorry to hear about this situation. The only possible legal action that can be taken here is by your son. In MI, MCL 722.26c sets forth the circumstances in which a third person may bring an action for custody under the Child Custody Act, which are: (1) A third person may bring an action for custody of a child if the court finds either of the following:
(a) Both of the following:
( i ) The child was placed for adoption with the third person under the adoption laws of this or another state, and the placement order is still in effect at the time the action is filed.
( ii ) After the placement, the child has resided with the third person for a minimum of 6 months.
(b) All of the following:
( i ) The child's biological parents have never been married to one another.
( ii ) The child's parent who has custody of the child dies or is missing and the other parent has not been granted legal custody under court order.
( iii ) The third person is related to the child within the fifth degree by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Unfortunately, this does not apply in this circumstance. MI also recognizes the "equitable parent doctrine," but the Court observed that "y its terms, this doctrine applies, upon divorce, with respect to a child born or conceived during the marriage." See: Van v. Zahorik, 575 N.W.2d 566, 227 Mich.App. 90 (Mich. App., 1997). Thus, this does not appear to apply either.
In 2000, the US Supreme Court dealt another blow to third parties seeking visitation rights in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), which is where the Supreme Court held that the right to make decisions for a child was a "fundamental (civil) right" and that right would not be disturbed by the courts. In doing this, the Supreme Court removed the discretion of the court in situations like you described where someone helped raise a child for several years and developed a relationship from getting visitation absent the consent of the biological parent guardian. Thus, the mother as the guardian would be given the right to make this decision I am afraid.
I am afraid that the court's hands are tied in this terrible situation and unless you can negotiate something with the mother or the biological father can fight for custody rights and get custody and allows you to have visitation during his custody time, legally the law just does not provide you or your son recourse or standing in this matter.
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