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Missouri judge grants father custody after years-long battle

When it comes to a dispute over the custody of a child, the best interests of the child have to come first. Not all children have access to both parents, but if they do, each parent can play a huge part in the development of the child. Unfortunately, though, fathers' rights are often overlooked. One father has faced a long battle to win back his son, who was put up for adoption in Missouri.

The 26-year-old father, who lives out of state, stayed in touch with his pregnant ex-girlfriend and had planned to be there for the birth. He drove to Joplin one September morning in 2010, believing the baby was about to be delivered. When he arrived, he was unable to contact his ex and could get no information from the hospital. Finally, the father was informed by the birth mother's neighbor that the child had been adopted three weeks earlier.

Early into the pregnancy, the father received a call from an adoption agency informing him that the baby had been put up for adoption. The young man requested a paternity test, stating that if the baby was his, he did not want it to be adopted. Nevertheless, the adoption went ahead without his knowledge, and he faced a six-month battle to win back his son.

The adoption was nullified in July 2011, and the father subsequently was granted visitation rights, while the child was temporarily put in the state’s custody. In late 2013, the father was granted full custody by a Missouri judge. He has also sued the adoption agency, alleging that his parental rights were violated when the agency proceeded with the adoption despite his objections.

In Missouri, a father's parental rights cannot be terminated against his will without sufficient evidence of him being an unfit parent. If you feel your rights are being ignored, it is important to take the necessary legal steps to fight back. By ensuring that your suitability as a parent is investigated and recognized, you can work toward the best possible resolution for yourself and your child.

Source: Tulsa World, "Young Coweta father wins fight in Missouri against adoption of his son," Michael Overall, March 30, 2014

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