The Houston Family Law Blog

Dad Seeks Custody of Diann Ford Baby

An infant delivered by emergency surgery after her mother, Diann Ford, was killed in a hit-and-run, is the subject of a custody battle, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Diann Ford was a pregnant single mom when she was struck by a car walking near her work. She didn’t survive, but her child — who doesn’t have a name yet — did. And now that child is likely to be caught up in a custody battle.

After Diann Ford's death, the baby went home with Ford's sister. But then, 21-year-old Marcus Enriquez from Luling filed a petition with the court stating that he should be granted custody as the child's father. He also claimed that he and Ford had talked about marriage and had lived together in the past.

Now Enriquez would like to take the child at least for Thanksgiving and Christmas while the paternity tests and court-work occurs.

What is the status of the baby under the law? Under Texas law things are murky.

Under Texas paternity law, a child born to a man and woman who are not married has no legal father. There is a difference between a biological father and a legal father. When the child's parents complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) to establish legal fatherhood, this helps to secure the legal rights of the child and the father. Obviously in this case, an AOP never came about because Ford didn't get a chance to deliver the child properly.

It is conceivable, however, that since Enriquez is acknowledging paternity, he would be considered the rightful parent.

For more information on Texas paternity laws or Diann Ford's baby's future might be affected, please see below.

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