Detroit (WXYZ) - Tuesday Governor Rick Snyder signed bills into law that give biological fathers more rights and get rid of the Michigan Paternity Act.
“For the past 4 years,my sole purpose has been passing these bills and getting my daughter back,” said Daniel Quinn.
The Hartland Township man was the inspiration for the bills.
Quinn says he was a part of it all for the first 2.5 years of his little girl's life, but hasn't seen her now for almost 4 years.
The reason? His little girl’s mother was married to another man when she became pregnant. After living with Quinn for some time, she decided to reconcile with her husband. She and her husband took Maeleigh. The Michigan Paternity Act is an old Michigan law put in place to protect the sanctity of marriage. It gives husband’s the parental rights to their wife’s children, regardless of biology.
Under the old law, the judge couldn’t even consider giving Quinn rights.
“This is an outdated law,” said Sen. Steven Bieda (D-Warren).
He says the Michigan Paternity Act was put in place before DNA testing was available.
Quinn’s little girl ultimately ended up in the custody of a now-convicted drug dealer. According to police reports the crimes were committed by the child’s mother’s husband in Maeleigh’s presence. Quinn didn’t have the right to tell a judge why he would be a possibly more suitable caretaker.
Quinn’s story inspired Bieda. He and Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) introduced laws that they say bring Michigan’s Paternity Law up to date. Biological fathers will now be able to petition the cour for parental rights.
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