Cases that involve children are seldom easy. Parents naturally want what is best for their children. However, problems may arise when outside parties disagree on what is best for the child. Residents of the state of Georgia should be aware of fathers’ rights surrounding the privileges that biological fathers have regarding their children. Knowing your rights may help in many different custody circumstances ranging from divorce to complicated foster parent situations.

A recent complicated case is reinforcing the biological fathers’ rights even when foster parents have adopted the child. A Tennessee girl is the focus of a heated child custody dispute between her natural father and the foster parents who have raised her for the majority of her life. The 9-year-old girl lived in the care of her foster family from the time she was 1-year-old until February 2014. It was at that time the Department of Children’s Services removed her to the care of her birth father. In what may have been an attempt to rectify a former error, the DCS ultimately saw the girl delivered back to her father. 

The child had never met her dad, whose parental rights had been terminated while he was incarcerated. Though the birth mother of the girl had given up parental rights and her foster parents legally adopted her at age 3, her adoption was overturned by the court of appeals in 2009. In the 2009 proceedings, it was stated that the trial court had been wrong for terminating the biological father’s parental rights when he was sent to prison, and the case has remained active ever since.

Parental rights are sensitive matters and the issues surrounding them are seldom black and white. Despite the number of years passed in this particular case, the man still has father’s rights as a biological parent. Those in Georgia facing similar problems must carefully consider the custody rights surrounding their cases in order to fully understand their options. As the case demonstrates, there may be hope for fathers that feel like they are coming up against a hopeless situation. 

Source: WSMV, “Dickson family hopes to bring girl home after custody ruling,” Nancy Amons, Feb. 5, 2014