parental rights

Can parental rights be lost because of abuse?

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My daughter became pregnant by her boyfriend. They were dating for three years. He was 24 and a student, while she was 27 and was working. When the baby was born, neither the guy nor his family wanted to take on the responsibilities of having a child. He continued his normal student life, not making any effort to study at night and work during the day. His mother claims they have no money to help, which is not true because they have more money than we do.

My daughter ended her relationship with him because she was a victim of abuse and realized she was not going anywhere with him. She has assumed full responsibility for her daughter with our help, but this man feels he has the right to have his daughter with him and to bring her back and forth whenever he feels like it. The child rejects him and cries whenever he tries to force her to be with him and his family. The baby is six months old. We have been very patient, but now everything has become a big problem, and we don’t know what to do. Thank you for your advice.


Undoubtedly, you are doing a wonderful work of charity before God by supporting your daughter in this setback that she has had. It is also very beautiful that you are helping educate this child who is innocent of the mistakes her parents may have made.

From what you say in your correspondence, the father is badly misbehaving. In any case, because of having fathered her, he has a natural right that allows him, for example, to visit with and see his daughter, at least sporadically. Of course, this does not justify his poor behavior and the unjust way he has proceeded. If these visits result in serious moral evils and/or serious dangers to the soul of the child, this right can be lost or at least suspended until there is a change of attitude.

Let us include this situation in our prayers.

Fr. Miguel A. Fuentes, IVE

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