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Child custody and paternity rights questioned in unusual case

Precedents set by unique legal scenarios often change the way future cases are considered by judges. In Louisiana, a complicated child custody case is raising questions about how paternity is treated in the case of a child conceived through a sperm donor. The man, who is listed on the child's birth certificate, is fighting to be recognized as the father of his ex-girlfriend's child.

The case has led to a lawmaker in New Orleans filing a bill in support of the man and others like him. The bill would make it more difficult to challenge the paternity of someone listed as a "father" on the birth certificate. Currently, state law allows "acknowledgment of paternity" to be voided for nonbiological fathers who were never married to the mother.

The current law is designed to prevent men from being asked for child support for their nonbiological, nonadoptive children. However, if the father does want child custody and rights to see a nonbiological child, this can become a problem. In this case, the child was conceived through a sperm donor and in-vitro fertilization, and the man was heavily involved in the process.

Despite being on the birth certificate and passing his middle name and surname to the child, the mother still has legal grounds to potentially strip his paternity. The mother alleges domestic violence as her reason for stripping paternity rights. Child custody cases can get very complicated, especially for families which are formed through means such as in-vitro. Those struggling with a child custody issue in Louisiana can find support from a family lawyer.

Source: klfy.com, "Complex bill would make it harder to challenge a father's paternity rights in Louisiana", March 18, 2018

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