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Legal Feasibility for a Character

July 3, 2015
Posted at 1:29 pm

Family law is not something I ever deal with. So I have a potential situation in a story that I need to find out if it will work. In fact, two questions.

1. An unmarried couple wish to have a child, but for one or more reasons cannot. (Heterosexual. These questions have nothing to do with gay marriage or other similar rights.) The sperm donor agrees on condition that he have equal rights over the child. Without a marriage, is it possible for all three to be legal guardians of the child and have joint responsibility?

2. An unmarried woman gives birth to a child. She then dies or is disabled. Does the biological father, acknowledged by the woman and on the child's birth certificate, have a right to guardianship of the orphaned child? Is this right a priority over the woman's parents?

I have no idea how these concepts actually play out in my story, but I thought that I'd get advice before I invest too much in the story.

Thanks! Devon Layne