Can an Ex Try to Gain Custody, If he’s Not the Biological Parent/Father?

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“I have a quick question that you all may be able to help me with. My sister had a baby out of wedlock and for about the first 12 months a man who was not the biological father took him about once a week or so. Even while this man was taking my nephew he had been separated from my sister for quite a while. This man was an ex-boyfriend of my sister’s who was just simply a pest and nuisance. He has terrible character and has had numerous run-ins with the law. He certainly does not have a good reputation. Now, a year later, he is trying to get custody. Can he do this? Even though he is not the biological father and has a terrible record?”

Question: He can certainly try to gain custody if he believes he is the father of the child, even if his belief is mistaken or he is merely deluded. Either party to the action may contest paternity by requesting a DNA test in the custody proceedings. Is he on the birth certificate? Has he made a voluntary declaration of paternity? If he is not the father, then why is your sister allowing him to take her infant son? Have they tried to get married? Some of the answers to these questions may be relevant to an attempt of ex-boyfriend to be named the putative father.