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New rights for biological dads in Michigan

Daniel Quinn wins fight to change Michigan paternity law

DETROIT – After a four year fight, a local father receives rights to his daughter that were once given to a complete stranger.

Daniel Quinn of Hartland has not seen or spoken to his 6-year-old daughter, May-Lee, since 2008, but desperately wanted her in his life. The law had been working against him, but that all changed on Tuesday with the governor's signature.

"To me it's more than a law, its rights, rights to my own daughter, my own child that I raised for the first two and a half years of her life. So its huge, it's huge," said Daniel Quinn, who won the fight to change the paternity law.

Before the bills were signed, even though May-Lee is biologically Quinn's, the state never recognized it. The woman Quinn had his daughter with was married to another man, so when his then girlfriend returned to her husband Quinn lost his daughter.

The previous law stated that a woman's husband is the father of her children, making the husband responsible for their support and denying parental rights to the biological father.

The new law extends rights to biological fathers and in some situations the chance for legal rights over their children.

"There comes a time when common sense must trump common law and that happened today in the state of Michigan," said Quinn.

Quinn now plans to pursue custody of his daughter who is now with her mother living in another state.