Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting
question, even though the outlook is somewhat grim.
Some of your questions are just too broad and ambiguous to answer;
like ?What are my rights as a father?? for example. Biological fathers
can have dozens of rights so it depends on what specific thing you are
referring to. As for those issues you DID refer to specifically, I?ll
try to help you where possible:
One must consider this recent (2003) precedent in the state of Ohio
(its worth mentioning to your lawyer and worthy of asking him or her
In re Dayton, 155 Ohio App.3d 407, 2003-Ohio-6397.] STATE OF OHIO,
JEFFERSON COUNTY IN THE COURT OF APPEALS SEVENTH DISTRICT
Reed v Dayton
In this case Reed and Dayton lived together. Dayton became pregnant
and Reed dutifully cared for her, took her to all of her appointments.
Upon the birth of the child Reed wanted the baby to bear his surname
but the mother had other plans. Without consulting him she signed the
papers, which she is legally entitled to do as the unmarried custodial
parent, legally giving the child HER surname. Reed sued to have the
name changed to HIS surname. The lower court?s decided in favor of the
mother (Dayton) and declined to order the child?s surname changed to
the biological father?s name.
Reed appealed and claimed that the court decided in error. He argued
that he paid support, attempted visitation, and generally upheld his
supportive obligations as the father, therefore the child should have
his surname. He also cited ?Bobo v Jewell (1988) 38 Ohio St. 3d330?
and ?In re Wilhite (1999) 85 Ohio St.3d 28? that the name change would
not in any way be detrimental to the child, the name change would not
inconvenience the mother or the child, and the name change would be
beneficial to the child, just to name a few.
To make a long story short (and your lawyer can verify this) the
Appellate Court held that Reeds argument was without merit and the
upheld the lower court?s decision. The name was left as the mother
On the other hand, if you can convince an Ohio court that all the
tings Reed argued ARE relevant, perhaps they will side with you ? who
knows. New precedents are set all the time.
Having said that, it appears on the surface at least that in the state
of Ohio the biological father appears to have little recourse should
the biological mother (to whom he is not legally married) decides to
give their illegitimate child her surname rather than his, in spite of
how well he cared for her or the child.
Finally (as you alluded to in your question), your best bet (our
disclaimer notes we cannot provide legal advice) is to contact a
lawyer, but in the meantime these father?s rights sites may be of
great interest to you:
Parents And Children for Equality (PACE)
PACE CHAPTERS OF OHIO http://www.pacegroup.org/pacegroup_004.htm
RESOURCES FOR FATHERS
I wish I had better news for you. I hope you find that my research
exceeds your expectations. If you have any questions about my research
please post a clarification request prior to rating the answer.
Otherwise, I welcome your rating and your final comments and I look
forward to working with you again in the near future. Thank you for
bringing your question to us.
Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher
OTHER INFORMATION SOURCES
IN RE WILHITE
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BOBO v JEWELL
IN RE WILHITE