How do I get full custody, if we were never married?

I’m having a problem trying to find out how I can gain full an undeniable custody of my daughter. The “biological” father is only in her life because I went for help with day care when she was not even a year old. He wanted nothing to do with her from the day I told him I was pregnant. He was not in her life for the first almost three years. He is barely in her life now. Pretends that he cares, sends presents, but when it comes to actually “caring” he says “oh that is mommies job”. I am now married, expecting in a few weeks an my husband wants to adopt her legally. I have a strong feeling that the “absent parent” is going to try to keep this from happening. Either because of his family or because of his new wife wanting my daughter.

What is the best way for me to go about this without having to go to court? Can we, my husband and I, go about this without him? I’ve read up on laws and from what I have read he really has no legal right to her. I need some information please!!!

Distressed mother!

In order to terminate the father’s parental rights you must go through the courts. Your new husband cannot adopt your child unless and until the biological father’s rights are terminated. He has legal rights to the child until they are terminated.

So in other words I’m gonna have to drag my four year old through a process with someone she doesn’t even know? Wonderful. Ok, what if he just shows up an wants to take her? Can he? Even though she has no idea who he is and will literally scream like a banshee if him and his new wife tried anything? I mean am I completely defenseless right now? Because I will not allow him to take her. I am all she has ever had. She doesn’t know who or what he is by his own actions. He abandoned us from the start. He left when she was still in my womb.

Biological parents have the right to see their child, unless and until a court takes that right away. If there is no court order allowing specific visitation you will not be in violation of a court order for refusing to allow the child to go with him, however there could be negative consequences if he files suit for visitation rights. However, in this case it seems as though granting visitation may not be in the best interests of the child if she does not know her father, and sending her with him may cause her distress. I cannot say for sure how a judge would view your withholding visitation, but in my opinion your doing so may be justifiable.

That at least is semi good news. I let him see her when he decides he has the time to grace her with his presence as long as it fits into our schedule. Most of the time it is the two of us going out of our way to see that he gets to see her. It has always been his family that has pretty much made him see her. I feel now that he has married, the wife is the one making all the effort. This I have no problem with but I refuse to let her try to take my daughter from me or get custody because she wants it, not him. I just feel that it is all fake show on his side. She has things she does here and moods that sometimes only I can handle. Not even my parents or brothers (her uncles) can handle her when she does. It would be devastating if he got joint custody and was able to take her from me.