1. DanielA1140

    DanielA1140 New Member

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    Question on parental rights after death of the protagonists mother?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by DanielA1140, Oct 4, 2018.

    Hey everyone. I would like to write a novel but I'm having a lot of trouble with the set up. The story is set in 1989 about an 11 year old girl from London who's mother dies in a car crash & she is an orphan. The girls biological father is American & lives in Philadelphia. He never knew about the girls existence but his name is on her birth cert. The main plot of the story is the father comes to London & takes her back to Philadelphia to live with him & their life & relationship together throughout the girls life but I'm just wondering what would the procedure be at first. How would the father find out about his daughter? Where would she stay after her mother's death? How long would it take to get American citizenship? How & where would they meet for the first time? How long before they can move to Philadelphia? What would happen to the girls personal belongings & pet cat & horse? Could she live in America before she has American citizenship? Would she have to be adopted by her biological father? Would the mother have a funeral since there are no other living relatives? Ect. I was also wondering if she would have to change her surname because I would like to have the girl keeping her mother's surname as a sub plot. Sorry for such a long question & thank you for reading.
     
  2. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    I don't know all the details exactly, but if the dad is on her birth certificate I would imagine that would give him some parental rights. A lot of it would probably depend on who else is able to take care of the girl, does she have any other family or family friends in London / England? Social services would be involved, as far as I know they would either find her a relative or foster family to take care of her. It is possible that if she has other people who could look after her who live closer there could be a custody battle as it might not be in her best interest to live with a father she has never met in a new country. I don't know about adoption vs already having rights as an estranged parent? - https://www.gov.uk/parental-rights-responsibilities/who-has-parental-responsibility the government website says they have rights if they are on the birth certificate although it looks like that only came into effect in 2003, so he would probably have to apply for parental responsibility. I really don't know anything about US citizenship laws. In terms of her pets, any animal being transported to other countries needs all sorts of vaccinations and possibly quarantine time to make sure they're not bringing any communicable illnesses over. I don't know specifically about cats and horses to the US but I imagine it would be costly with a lot of time and paperwork involved so I suppose it depends on whether the dad is prepared to do it? I don't think the girl would have to change her surname, I can't think of a legal reason she would have to but again I don't know the specific rules. Bear in mind though, this is conjecture, I don't know for certain what the laws would be.
     
  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    This just occurred to me. If the mother wasn't going to tell the father about the girl, why did she put his name on the birth certificate?
     

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