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Rape victims may not have to share child custody anymore

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2017 | Blog, Firm News |

There are many Maryland mothers whose children were born as the result of an incident of rape. Although it’s hard to believe, some of these mothers are forced to give their rapists visitation rights and other parental rights. Fortunately, the possibility of this awful scenario could soon be done away with forever.

A pair of new laws passed by the Maryland House of Delegates will be voted on by the Senate this week. If passed, the laws would give judges the power to strip parents of parental rights if they committed rape against the mother or father of the child. The laws clarify that removing parental rights from rapists in these cases will serve the best interests of the children involved.

A spokesperson for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault recently told reporters that they are happy with the bills. She said that they look forward to seeing how the Senate votes on the bills.

House of Delegates passed new laws unanimously

In the House of Delegates, the bills were passed unanimously, and they received 94 co-sponsors. In the Senate, they have 36 co-sponsors. The bills state that if one parent commits an unwanted sex act against the child’s other parent, and it causes the conception of the child, then courts can choose to take away all parental rights from the abusive parent.

It seems legally unjust that, under current laws, parental rights cannot be removed in these circumstances. Under current law, rapists can use their parental rights as a way of controlling their victims and preventing them from giving up a child born out of rape to adoption. For example, rapists currently can halt adoption proceedings if they so desire.

Seek legal assistance from a family law attorney

If you are a struggling mother, who is trying to remove parental rights from the father of your child because he committed sexual violence against you, a Maryland family law attorney can help. An attorney will educate you on your current options and develop a strategy to pursue your legal goals in court.