Usually only biological or adoptive parents have rights and responsibilities to their children. But sometimes courts recognize other people as “presumed” or “psychological” parents.

You or your spouse/partner may have legal parental rights and duties if

  • you have raised or helped raise a child in your home, and
  • you have publicly told people you are the child’s parent.

This can happen if the mom was not married to the dad, and the dad has not participated in the child’s life.


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