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Missouri Senate Passes Bill Involving Parental Rights - KOAM TV 7

Missouri Senate Passes Bill Involving Parental Rights

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Joplin, MO -

Senate Bill 800 has passed the Senate and is gradually making its way to Missouri families.
Part of the bill says if a woman has a child as a result of a rape, she may file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the biological father, even if he hasn't been formally charged with rape, which concerns one Joplin attorney who specializes in family law.
"What they're saying is, you don't even have to identify them. Well what about fraud? What about somebody that says "Well, I was raped", but doesn't prove it and they're doing the state benefits. Or they really know who it is and the guy lives down the street. So there's a lot of problematic issues in here" says David Meyer from the Law Office of David Meyer.
The bill also says the mother may be entitled to payment from the biological father for things like delivery expenses, newborn care and child support. But the senator sponsoring the bill doesn't see the lack of formal charges as an issue. 
"You have to have evidence and it has to be presented in front of the judge and or jury. So it's not just a he said she said necessarily, you got to convince a judge or a jury" says Senator Doug Libla.

Meyer points out he thinks part of the bill may some in the legislature trying to collect funds,"If you notice, it says "This section shall serve as a sufficient basis for a good cause or other exemption under" So obviously, they're trying to meet some kind of requirement the federal government has put out that most the time, its a federal funding issue, or a funding issue of the state."
The Children's Center sees the bill as a positive for Fourstate families.
 "The Children's Center prioritizes victims' rights and safety and security for children. Senate Bill 800 protects sexual assault survivors and supports the physical and emotional health of families."
The bill now goes to the house committee.

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