HARTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Legislature has sent Gov. Rick Snyder bills that would give biological fathers some rights to their children, even if the mothers were married to other men at the time of a child's birth.
The current 1956 law presumes that a woman's husband is the father of her children, making the husband responsible for their support and denying parental rights to the biological father.
Lawmakers last week passed measures extending rights to biological fathers, and the proposals are awaiting Snyder's signature. A phone message about the governor's intentions on the bills was left with a spokeswoman Sunday.
Daniel Quinn of Livingston County's Hartland Township near Fenton said he is among those who hope to benefit from a change in the law.
Quinn said he has been unable to see his 6-year-old daughter since 2008. The girl's mother was separated from her husband when Quinn impregnated her, Quinn told Mlive.com ( ). The couple later reconciled, moving out of state with the girl, Maeleigh.
Quinn said he supported his daughter for more than two years and wanted to be legally recognized as her father. Despite a DNA test, Quinn said he was hamstrung by a law that he felt was out of date.
"What the laws did to me essentially tied the judge's hands," said Quinn, who testified before legislators in support of changing the law.
Under the bills, a man who asserts a claim of fatherhood could bring legal action to gain paternal rights to the child, even if another man is already being acknowledged as the child's father.
The bills were backed by the National Family Justice Association, Friend of the Court Association, Department of Human Services, Michigan Probate Judges Association and the Family Law Section of the Michigan State Bar.
The Michigan branch of the National Organization for Women opposed the bills.
If Snyder signs the bills, Quinn said he would promptly petition the court to gain parental rights to his daughter.
"I want my daughter to understand," Quinn said, that he and the mother "both love her. Neither of us bailed on her."Tags: