Particular family strains often come with military service, and unfortunately, for many service members who have been deployed, extended time away from the family can lead to problems that require legal action. For example, Buffalo residents may be interested in an ongoing dispute involving an Army veteran seeking to establish his parental rights.

The man was deployed in Afghanistan during the seventh month of his former girlfriend’s pregnancy. They were no longer together, but the man tried to stay in touch with the mother with the intention of being a part of their child’s life. However, the mother apparently broke off communication for a time.

A few weeks after the baby’s due date, the mother reportedly sent pictures of the little boy to the father. Then, after the father returned home from his military service, the mother told him that the child had died. The mother refused to indicate where the baby might have been buried.

When these matters were taken to court, the mother admitted during testimony that the child was alive and had been given up for adoption in Utah. The mother did not name the soldier as the father in the adoption proceedings, claiming that he was abusive.

The father denies that allegation. He was also not notified when his child was adopted several years ago. The man has been fighting for his parental rights ever since.

In New York, unmarried fathers can take certain legal steps to acknowledge paternity. You can also take steps to ensure that you are notified if the child is placed in foster care, or if the other parent tries to move forward with adoption proceedings. In these cases, a family law attorney can help fathers navigate complex child custody issues.

Source: New York Daily News, “Army veteran closer to winning custody of child his ex-girlfriend secretly gave up for adoption,” Carol Kuravilla, Feb. 26, 2014