Can a non-biological father get custody of a child?

non biological father and child custody

Can a non-biological father get custody of a child?

A child custody case involving a biological and non-biological parent is quite tricky as compared to a case involving both biological parents. This is because in such cases a biological parent has more power or rights over the child than the stepparent. Most of the custody cases are filed by the father since the law states that a child must stay with the mother until he or she is 18 years old. But note that, a nonbiological father can be granted full custody of the child if the mother is found with the following issues.

Under what circumstances can a nonbiological father be granted custody of the child?

 If the biological parent or rather the mother is unfit to live with the child. It could be due to her lifestyle of living or she is not mentally unstable to take care of the child.

• If the biological mother is not able to take care of the child due to death or severe ailment. The non-biological father can be given custody of the child.

• If the mother or the biological father has a toxic relationship with the child, the court may provide the child to the nonbiological father in the interest of the child.

Rights of the nonbiological father if his name is on the child’s birth certificate.

If a mother is fit and able to take care of the child, the court has high chance of ruling the verdict in her favor. A lot of women fear losing their children if they bear the last name of the nonbiological father on the birth certificate. One vital thing to note though is that the court does not entirely depend on the birth certificate when choosing the person to have full custody of the child. So even if the name of the nonbiological father is on the birth certificate, he will only be allowed to visit the child or spend some time with the child.
Also, the visitation is not allowed easily as the court has to investigate if the man has the right intention of wanting to be part of the child’s life. Therefore, before he is granted time to spend with the child he has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he has a good relationship and good intentions towards the child.

Some of the factors considered before a nonbiological father is allowed to visit a child.

• The child must have been born when the man was married to the mother. He must have taken part in raising the child.

• He must have lived with the child most of his or her life. Unless the father was always out to work.

• The stepfather must have a well-established relationship with the stepchild. They must be emotionally attached, and the child should be calling him father.

• The mother should have accepted and approved the relationship the father had with the child before they broke up or divorced.

• His signature should also be on the birth certificate.


From the above information, we can conclude that a nonbiological father cannot get full custody of the child unless the birth parents are tested to be unfit. But if the stepfather has had a good relationship with the child, there are chances that the father will be granted the right of visitation.