May rapists in Kentucky have any access to their children?

Being raped can cause deep physical and emotional scars. Some rape victims in Kentucky find that the violent crime forced against them led to them becoming pregnant. When this happens, some women decide to keep their baby rather than seek an abortion or give the baby up for adoption.

It may seem logical that rape victims want absolutely nothing to do with their rapist in the future. However, issues of child support and child custody may still be in play, even if the woman was a victim of rape. When this happens, the rape victim may be forced to confront her rapist in family court.

In fact, in Kentucky, unless the man was convicted of the crime of rape, the man may have access to his child, although this access may be limited. This in part is due to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and a decision by the United States Supreme Court that determined that individuals who have become parents have a fundamental right to their child, unless the court decides that the father is not fit to have access to the child through clear and convincing evidence. If the man is convicted of the crime of rape, his parental rights to the child may be entirely terminated. The best interests of the child is one factor that is usually considered when the court is deciding whether or not to terminate the rapist's right to the child, or whether the child is or would be directly harmed by the rapist.

Being raped is a traumatic experience, and allowing the rapist to share even limited child custody or visitation rights can exasperate the victim's experience. The issue of whether to terminate parental rights is a complicated one. In the end, the child's best interests must prevail, so that an appropriate resolution can be reached.