The situation is this: My daughter is 3 1/2 yrs old and her father has only seen her a few times before. He hasn't seen her since she was a baby. His name is not on the birth certificate. My daughter has my last name. I did not put his name on any paperwork at the hospital. There has never been a formal custody arrangement. There IS paternity and a child support order however because I was a single mom going to college(I graduate in 2 months!) and so I was applying for assistance and my case worker told me that I had to do that in order for my daughter to receive title 19 health insurance. I did not want to, but I did because I thought I had to. I broke up with my ex when I was a little over a month pregnant(unknowingly). He has a long criminal record involving various meth and assault charges. Most recently I have heard that he was caught making meth last fall and handed a class B felony along with two class D felonies. I looked this up and a class B will land you a maximun 20 yr prison sentence and the D's will each give you a maximum 5 yr sentence. I have a few speeding teckets. I also will have two BS degrees in two months and he dropped out of high school after driver's ed. He also got married about 2 yrs ago and I have heard that he is abusive to his wife. He was also abusive in our relationship although I left when it was starting to head in that direction.
MY QUESTION IS THIS: What are his current rights to my daughter? Could I have him sign away his rights? What could I do if he refused to sign away his rights? If he does go to prison for some years, does this do anything for making it easier to remove his rights? Hypothetically, if I got married and my husband wanted to adopt her what steps would I need to take before he could begin to adopt her?
I want to do what is in the best interest of my child. My ex possibbly having rights to her totally freaks me out. It also freaks me out when I think of my daughter's future and how her father is definately not a positive role model and influence for a child.
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