Every Day is Father’s Day

Miguel* couldn’t imagine life without his “best buddy”-his little boy, Sammy*. The Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law made sure that Miguel would always celebrate Father’s Day and every day with his son.

Times were very difficult after Sammy’s birth. Born with ambiguous genitalia and physical and developmental disabilities, he needed constant care and therapy. Sammy underwent four major surgeries before he turned two years old. Those years were extremely stressful for the young family. Sammy’s mother couldn’t bear the emotional and physical toll of caring for a child with significant needs, and she moved out. Miguel remained with the sole responsibility of raising their son. With no family close by or means to pay for child care, Miguel had to stop working to give Sammy the full-time help he needed.

Miguel, struggling to provide stability and certainty in his family’s life, sought legal help from the Center. The staff lawyers and volunteers filed a paternity action and counseled Miguel about custody and visitation rights for parents. Miguel wanted physical custody of Sammy, and his mother agreed along with a schedule for her visits.

Now, Miguel takes his son to his daily skilled therapy in the mornings, makes his lunch, puts him down for a nap, and teaches him about fixing things as his “helper.” Miguel “can see the light” for Sammy’s future and his own, thanks to the Center and the support received from its donors.

*Names and photos have been changed to protect client’s privacy.