A young California father is fighting for custody rights after his son was allegedly given up for adoption without his consent.
The father, 19-year-old Preston King, is the father of a 3-month-old baby named Wyatt. King and Wyatt’s mother broke up during the pregnancy, but King claims that didn’t stop him from supporting the mother of his child throughout.
He maintains that he worked multiple jobs, leased the mother and their future child an apartment, and supported the mother with money and goods during her pregnancy. According to California Law, these actions are ground to be considered the alleged father of a child.
“An alleged father is generally someone to whom the birth mother is not married,” an explanation of California law states. “An alleged father is entitled to official notice that he is alleged to be the father of the child and that the child is an subject of an adoption proceeding. He has 30 days after service of the notice or the birth of the baby, whichever is latest, to file an action to prove that there is a father-child relationship and to ask for custody.”
But the child’s mother disputes all of King’s claims that he supported her during the pregnancy. She says he was not there for her emotionally, financially or mentally while she carried their child. Because of this, King was denied the opportunity to sign a declaration saying he was the father of the child. He was also not permitted to sign Wyatt’s birth certificate.
When he was informed that Wyatt was being put up for adoption, King was reportedly told there was nothing he could do. He was also allegedly told he could meet the adopting parents, but that he did not have the right to veto the adoption.
In an effort to gain custody of his son, King is taking his case to the Orange County Justice Courts. He is arguing that based on his support during the pregnancy, he meets the requirements to be considered Wyatt’s alleged father and therefore has the right to attain custody of his son. He has set up both a Facebook page and a petition page to raise awareness and support for his cause.
Here is an excerpt from King’s petition page:
We are finding it hard to understand why any judge would take the rights of a loving a fit father who wants his child. The birth mother of baby Wyatt signed over her rights for Wyatt to be adopted but Preston King never consented for his son to be adopted away. He was never given the opportunity to be the father that he has the right and capability of being.