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Biological fathers win first round in fight for parental rights PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dawne Gee   

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Based on current Kentucky law, not all biological fathers have the right to be in their child's life. It can be a very complicated story, but some say it is a simple fix - just change the law. Rep. Darryl Owens is one of the sponsors of a bill in the Kentucky Legislature to do just that because he believes it is time to right that wrong.

"I hope that you all can help me today because I have already gone two years without seeing him," said James Rhoades, a father fighting for parental rights.

Rhoades stood before lawmakers, along with other Kentucky fathers who have similar stories, to plead for House Bill 28 to be passed. It is the help they need to see their children who were conceived during an alleged affair with a married woman. Even after DNA testing proves their paternity, these fathers have no rights by law.

"I just want to be a part of my child's life," Rhoades said. "I think it's important that he knows who his father is."

Rhoades has placed billboards, blogged and spent over $50,000 in this fight, but it was Wednesday's vote in the House Judiciary Committee that will could the difference.  Now that Rhoades and the other fathers got the chance to have their bill heard, the fight is in someone else's hands.

"I'm voting no and the reason I'm voting no this presents a situation we're we are allowing a third party to basically have the ability to pressure a perhaps already fragile marriage," said Rep. Tom Riner (R-District 41).

"I think this bill is badly needed all it really does is allow the Family Court to determine the truth about paternity and then they will decide in the best interest of the child," said Rep. Harry Moberly, (D-District 81).

Initially the bill did not pass, but in a revote, it passed by one. Now that the bill is out of committee, it will have its first reading on the floor of the House.

 



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