The State of Florida does currently not address the issue of child custody, support, or visitation when said child was conceived during an act of violence.
The cause of this petition is to request that the State Senate create legislation that will protect the victim of the criminal action from future interaction with the perpetrator of the crime.
We humbly request that Florida follow in the steps of the following states and their legislation and provide for the protection of the victims of rape and the children they may conceive and raise.
Alaska Stat. § 25.23.180 (1999) (court may terminate parental relationship if child was conceived as a result of sexual assault, and termination is in the best interests of the child);
Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 361.5 (West 1999) (reunification not provided to parent of child conceived as result of sexual assault);
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-717 (1999) (court may terminate parental rights of parent convicted of a sexual assault resulting in the conception of a child, except in certain cases of statutory rape);
Idaho Code § 16-2005 (1999) (court may grant termination of parental rights as to a parent who conceived a child as a result of rape);
750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 50/8 (West 1999) (father's consent to adoption not required if he fathered child as result of criminal sexual abuse or assault);
Ind. Code § 31-19-9-8 (1999) (notice to father of adoption proceedings not required if child conceived as result of rape, incest, or sexual misconduct with a minor);
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 19-A, § 1658 (West 1999) (court may terminate parental rights of person who conceived child as result of crime involving sexual intercourse, unless court informed that the act was consensual);
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 211.447 (1999) (biological father's guilty plea or conviction of forcible rape of the birth mother is conclusive evidence to termination his parental rights);
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 125c.210 (1999) (father has no right of custody or visitation if child conceived as result of sexual assault unless consented to by mother and is in the best interest of the child);
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 9:2-4.1 (West 1999);
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 32A-5-19 (Michie 1999);
N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 111-a (McKinney 1999);
Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 10, § 7006-1.1 (1999) (stating that the court may terminate parental rights if the child was conceived as a result of rape);
23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2511 (West 1999) (father's parental rights may be terminated if child conceived as a result of rape or incest);
S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-1734 (Law Co-op. 1999) (father not entitled to notice of adoption proceedings if child conceived as result of criminal sexual misconduct);
Wis. Stat. §§ 48.42, 48.415 (1999) (§ 48.42 stating that no notice is required to the father in a termination of parental rights case when the child has been conceived as a result of sexual assault or rape; § 48.415 stating that parenthood as a result of sexual assault or rape is grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights)
In addition the most recent court case to address the issue of parental rights based on the results of sexual assault or rape resulted in the following order and opinion of the court:
Shepherd v. Clemens, 752 A.2d 533 (Del. 2000). There, the court concluded that when a child is conceived and born as the result of an unlawful sexual intercourse as defined in the code, the biological father shall not be permitted visitation. This does not violate constitutional principles. “No court has held that the mere fact of biological fatherhood that was the result of a conception during a criminal act and that is unaccompanied by a relationship with the child, creates an interest that the United States Constitution protects in the name of liberty.” See Lehr v. Robertson, 463 U.S. 248, 259-62 (1983)
Rapists should not have parental rights, if the State of Florida desires to provide the criminal with parental rights, then the state should equally provide that those rights shall be terminated without the consent of the rapist at the request of the victim.
Florida has failed to address the question of parental rights and has left open the option of the rapists to assert their parental rights and therefore ensure that the victim continues to be vilified beyond the initial criminal action.
It is with a humble request that we the undersigned men and women request that Florida Congress and Governor address this issue during the 2013 legislative session and provide for the victims of the rapists by eliminating the automatic parental rights of the criminal.