If a father signs his rights away, how can he get them back?

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2013

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If a father signs his rights away, how can he get them back?

Has done a DNA test, child has not been adopted. father was young and mother didnt want father to have anything to do with the child. Child is about to be a year old and father wants to get his rights back.

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Family Law, Georgia


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In depends on the status of any court proceedings,  how long ago he signed the waiver of his rights, and the quality of the waiver. 

If the waiver was sufficient to qualify as a complete waiver of his rights, and his time frame for withdrawing his waiver has passed, and... his rights have since been finally terminated by a court (with the expiration of the appeal time), then father may not have any options.

If father only signed the waiver, but his rights have not yet been terminated, he may be able to petition the court to withdraw his waiver and seek custody of the child.  If he has signed the waiver and the termination has been completed, he needs to have an attorney review his waiver.  Some people just "hand-draft" a waiver-- and these are usually insufficient to qualify as a valid waiver-- which means that he may be able to under the waiver and termination of his rights.

Obviously, several factors can affect the outcome of the case.  The first step is for father to file a general answer in any pending court cases, state he is "dad", that he is withdrawing his waiver, and that he would like to seek custody of the child.  If anything is happening with the courts-- this needs to be done as soon as possible to preserve any rights that are left.  Next step for father is to find a family law attorney to help him.  He needs to take all of the paperwork that he has signed and received to the attorney to evaluate for issues noted above.  From there, the attorney can give father more specific advice about what his current status is and what he can do, if anything, at this point to still be a father to this child.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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