Thank you everyone for your support in updating the MI paternity laws! What started when I filed for paternity in 2002 has been a long slow road but together we have made a meaningful difference for future generations. Here's an article to read more about the law changes.
Since the changes I have been contacted and told there's a window of opportunity to where I can establish paternity. However, after much thought I have come to a decision not to persue it. Why? In short, I have said from the begining of this journey if there became a point where I felt Caleb had gotten to a point in his life where persuing the case could cause harm I would back down, hence why I persued it so early. At the time of this writing he's 9, has 2 siblings and from all of the evidence I have seen, which is ample, is happy. I can't say for sure it's the right choice but he is happy and that's always in the end what it has been about. I also want to thank Heather & Derek for taking such good care of him. I do hope that someday he and I will get to be apart of eachothers lives but for now I take great comfort in knowing he is surrounded by people who love him.
Many people over the years have asked me if anything has changed with since my last update. Countless times I've had to say no nothing really has changed. However, yesterday I received a phone call from Michelle McManus one of our state representatives. She was calling to let me know that it looks like the bill that was introduced based on, in-part, my case was finally gaining traction! It sounds like we should see some positive movement on the bill within the next few months. Great news and it's about time!
If you want to read more about the current state of the bill you can do so by clicking here.
Thank you everyone for all of your thoughts, prayers and support over the years.
Sorry for the long delay between updates. It happens sometimes since the process is, well in a word slow. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. I met with my attorney's a couple of days ago so here's the current scoop.
Where I stand as of right now is either the begining or the end of my court journey. What I mean is that the Michigan Supreme Court denied my appeal. Although I know for certian that they specifically mentioned to legislation that my case in one that they want to be able to help they currently felt that it was out of their hands. That left me with a Federal appeal. After my attorney's looked into that a bit they determined we don't have any grounds to make that appeal with my current case because of how my original attorney handled it. Basically he, most likely not thinking this would go to the federal level, went with the issue of standing instead of a equal rights and protection under the constitution. While we brought this up more to the court of appeals they didn't see enough evidence in there to feel that they could use it as a means to rule. For the Michigan Supreme courts we had a huge section dealing with constitutional issues with the case however it never got ruled on either since the courts just said i had no rights to appeal.
Now the part that may be the beginning is that we're looking into the possibility of another way to file to the Federal courts. It would be a new court case basically asking the courts to look at this law because it's had and continues to have a negative impact on my life. I think if the Federal courts look at it they should see the constitutional issues with it considering they treat the sexes completely different.
As far as the bill that was introduced to the Senate. I'm told that so far it's been getting great support, better than expected. However, it's slowed down a bit because of budget. I did get a copy of the fifth draft and it looks very solid. Sadly nothing that would help my case but will prevent future cases like mine.
It's been a long three years. In some ways it's gone by very very fast in others it's been the exact opposite. Regardless without all of you out there and your support this journey would have been much tougher to bear. Thank you. Let's turn another page and see what the next chapter brings.
UPDATE 5/25/2005: As requested here is a direct link to the Senate Bill introduced. Under the current law for a child to be considered "born out of wedlock" the mother must be unmarried at conception and the birth of the child. If she is married at either of these points the child is NOT a child born out of wedlock. Therefore the husband or possibly ex husband is by law considered the father to the child. Under the proposed law change it would insert an "or" clause which would allow people that meet other conditions to petition the courts saying that they have a biological link to the child. If it is then determined they are a biological parent normal parental rights would come into play. A lot of the contents that changes the definition is starting on page 13 and continues to page 14. A possible addition to the current bill is making it so anyone that has/had a pending court case as of May 1, 2005 falls under this law for determining a "child born out of wedlock" and parental rights.
UPDATE 5/24/2005: BIG NEWS and LOTS OF IT! There has been so many wonderful things happening since the last update! First and foremost Caleb turned two on May 6th! There has also been a few more news articles. One in the Grand Rapids Press and another in the Traverse City Record Eagle. Tomorrow I am going to be interviewed for another radio station called IPR it's a local station to me here. Finally, the last thing I have to update you with is this VERY exciting...it's Senate Bill 0436 (2005) below you can find a quick rundown on what the introduction is set to accomplish. "Family law; paternity; definition of "child born out of wedlock"; revise."
You heard that right! The Senate has introduced a bill which is aimed to prevent this type of thing from happening again! I feel privileged and honored that I have been able to help shape this bill. We've already got some great ideas that are hopefully going to be amended to this first introduction that may make it "slightly" retroactive. Without all of you this introduction may have never happened. Thank you, truly for all you have done.
UPDATE 3/25/2005: Here's the interview from the Rick and Scott show I was on Wednesday. UPDATE 3/24/2005: It appears I had an article in Muskegon Chronicle Monday! :) UPDATE 3/20/2005: Today is a good day! The Grand Rapids Press has made my story a top story in their paper! I'll be scanning the actual article in sometime in the future. UPDATE 2/24/2005: After almost 2 years I finally received a response from the Michigan Court of appeals. Last week I received a phone call from my attorney's office while at work to let me know that they had the opinion. I'm deeply saddened by the decision they came to. As you might have guessed they decided to uphold the lower courts ruling. With that ruling comes an excruciating pain inside that I wouldn't’t wish on anyone.
It’s been over a week now and I'm finally to a pointsssU where I'm ready to move forward again. After some thinking I've reinforced in my mind what I have thought all along if it comes down to this. I must move onto the next court otherwise I am doing Caleb a great injustice. He has a right to know. Thank you everyone for everything. UPDATE 1/18/2005: Received a new letter from Senator Basham. Click here to view. A special thank you to the people that have sent stories into me. I have passed them on to the legislators. UPDATE 1/5/2005: Well I don't have official word yet, however I feel court went very well yesterday. It may be up to 2 months before i have an answer. Keep the faith things are good. :)
UPDATE 1/3/2005: Well i've been so busy telling everyone about my court date i haven't had a chance to update my site yet. So here it is. Court date Jan. 4, 2005 11:30 am Grand Rapids, MI. Wish us luck! :)
UPDATE 10/11/2004: Received news from my attorney today! Its been fourteen long months since my appeal and the wait thankfully is starting to wind down. Read here
UPDATE 7/11/2004: This is a quick update to say thank you to everyone that has sent in the form and to everyone else that will. I'm still waiting on a date from the Court of Appeals. I know that sometimes people feel like their input doesn't make a difference, howevertogether we are making a difference. At the very least for future children and parents. How do I know? Earlier this week I received an email with a 1st draft of a proposed revision to "The Paternity Act" from the Michigan Senate. This is wonderful news. That said please continue to send the forms and tell people about this law, the more that are sent in the better. Again I thank you from the bottom of my heart and so will many others.Please if you haven't done so take a moment to fill out the contact legislation form, your input will make a difference.
Thank you for taking the time to visit theloveofmylife.org.
Perhaps you've just stumbled across this site by mistake, or perhaps you've
been directed here by someone. In either case, I welcome you and ask you
to read further. If you already know about the situation at hand or would just like to contact legislation, please click here.
have put together this site to raise awareness about a Michigan Law, The Paternity
Act MCL 722.710 et seq., a law which is having a significant impact on my life
currently and could have a similar impact on someone close to you; possibly
even you in the future. Read on,below is my
February 20, 2020
To Whom It May Concern,
I've got an interesting story to tell and quite honestly
I'm not exactly sure how to go about telling it. I'm going
to give it my best shot though. So here we go with the very
My now, ex-girlfriend of 2 years and I have a son together.
He was born May 6th, 2003 and as of today I'm yet to lay
eyes on him. Not by my choice, in spite of all my efforts
in preparing for his arrival into this wonderful world
my rights as a father no longer matter as it stands because
of the current laws in Michigan . November 1st 2002 would
be the last time I'd say that my ex and I were together.
After that point she told me she didn't feel the same way
about me anymore. I took that as it came the one thing
on my mind was what she had decided she wanted to do with
our son. Up until this point "we" were undecided on whether
we wanted to do an open adoption or raise him ourselves.
At first when we talked about it she said she thought she
wanted to keep him and when asked I happily said so do
I, I had known that for months but waited until I was asked
to actually say what my thoughts on it were, I didn't want
to influence her decision on this. That quickly turned
(a few days later) into something totally different. At
this point she decided that giving him up for adoption
was what she wanted to do and the fact that I wanted to
raise him was a threat to that so she broke all ties with
me. I continued to try and stay involved with the pregnancy
calling every 2-3 weeks to see how it was going but my messages
fell on deaf ears. I had learned in Late January that she
was now dating someone new and trying to protect my rights
I filed a suit to establish paternity February 21, 2003 .
She received that on March 6, and then had 28 days to respond
to the suit. She recently got married on March 28th (filed
for marriage license on March 25th ) and sent her response
to that suit to my attorneys and was received on April 3rd.
The response in a nutshell was the plaintiff has no case
because the defendant is a married woman so the child will
not be born out of wedlock. I contested it but could not
get a trial before Caleb (my son) was born and now my rights
have been disbanded because under law the husband acts as
father of the child, even if he was conceived before they
wed if there was no prior ruling on the case. So here I am
now in the eyes of the state "a deadbeat dad" that as I've
been told has gone way above and beyond the normal call of
duty for a father that is completely in love with his son
that I've never seen. The amazing thing is that they actually
say they're "thinking" I can see him "probably" once
every 6 weeks supervised if I stop the fight and give up my rights.
They can say I'm the father and keep me away at least until
the court of appeals decides what to do. I know this might
sound like a sad story but I assure you Caleb, even though
I've yet to bear witness to him, has brought about many wonderful
changes in my life. I thank God everyday for him and how
much growth and joy he's brought to my life in the last
210 months. How blessed