Q: I just found out that my childs mother was arrested in Alabama for chemical endangerment of a child × 4.
My son is 6 years old and his mother and I weren't married but I am on his birth certificate as his father. She moved him to Alabama and ceased all contact with me almost a year ago. I just found out my son was taken by the state of Alabama and put into foster care when she was arrested. I was never notified of any of this by anyone that I should've been. I went to Alabama with the birth certificate and demanded that my son be released to my custody, and they are telling me that I need to sign an AOP and the birth certificate stating I'm the father means nothing. I need to know what legal steps I need to go thru to get my son home to his family asap!!!!! These people won't give me any information on him whatsoever. I'm his father on his birth certificate!!!!!!My son is being traumatized because these people want an aop when I'm the father on the birth certificate!!! I live in Georgetown TN, and he was taken in Dothan Alabama.
A: Obviously, you need to hire an Alabama lawyer to get your child back. You have stumbled upon something I spend a lot to time explaining to fathers in Alabama. Your name on the birth certificate and signing the affidavit of paternity at the hospital only creates a presumption of paternity and does not actually establish paternity. This fact is often abused particularly by DHR. If you are on the putative father registry DHR should have at least contacted you when placing your child in foster care but your experience is no unusual. You need to file a petition to establish paternity and for custody. The sooner the better. Nothing will happen until you have an order declaring you the father..
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