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Child custody a divisive topic when dealing with cases of rape

For many mothers in Denver, finding out they are pregnant is an occasion of overwhelming joy. However, for the unfortunate women whose pregnancy is the result of a rape, a new layer of trauma is added to an already harrowing ordeal.

According to Inside Edition, each year anywhere between 25,000 and 32,000 women become pregnant as a result of rape in this country. Even when the rape is reported to the authorities, proper action is not always taken and many rapists are never convicted of their crime. If the father later finds out about the child or is tracked down upon the mother’s filing for government assistance, he may decide that he would like access to the child that is biologically his.

Having to face their attacker in court and having to turn their child over for visitation can be extremely scary and damaging for the women who were victims of rape. On the other hand, many of the fathers argue that if they have to pay child support then they deserve to have access to the child.

Whether or not the man is convicted of the rape is crucial, since that is the standard many states use when deciding whether an alleged rapist has parental rights, reports CNN. In Colorado, courts can terminate a father’s parental rights if he is convicted of the sexual assault that caused the pregnancy. However, unlike in many states, rape victims in Colorado can also argue in favor of terminating parental rights in the absence of a conviction if it goes against the child’s best interests.

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