Parental rights.... need answers...i just had a baby boy on dec.24. there hasnt been a DNA test yet even tho i know who the fater is, but does he have any rights to my son since he didnt sighn the...

Parental rights.... need answers...

i just had a baby boy on dec.24. there hasnt been a DNA test yet even tho i know who the fater is, but does he have any rights to my son since he didnt sighn the birth certificate?

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In most states, unless there is a court order in effect, both parents have an equal right to the child. Since you have stated this person is the father, I don't see why a DNA test is called for unless this person is denying paternity of the child. There are two issues for you to concern yourself with in this situation, one being custody and the other being child support.  If both of you acknowledge that this man is the father and he wishes to be involved in the life of the child, then a custody order would certainly be a good idea.  If you are seeking assistance from the state for your child, the state will probably seek support from him to recoup what it gives you for the child.  Certainly, state laws differ on custody and support, so the advice of an attorney in your state is the best idea.  Sometimes there is free legal aid available, and sometimes the local bar association maintains a list of attorneys who will give you a consultation at a reduced cost.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In general, I would say yes the father has rights to the child.  However, each state has their own specific set of laws pertaining to these issues.  As far as I know, DNA will trump the birth certificate.  In my state, it doesn't really matter if the father signs the birth certificate.  If he is the father, he has equal rights to the child.  I would strongly encourage you to speak with a lawyer or legal counselor in your state.  Each state has a complicated set of laws when it comes to parental rights.  A lawyer can also help you discover your own rights.  Do you want to seek child support?  Do you want to remove his parental rights because he might be a danger to the child?  Only appropriate legal counsel will be able to direct you and help you take the correct legal steps.

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with others, call a lawyer or legal aid. If you gave birth in a large hospital, there may be a social worker on staff there who can help you find the right people to assist you. There are different laws in different states, but the baby's dad (and his parents) probably have some rights even if he did not sign the birth certificate. There are legal things that you can do to block his parental rights if you feel the need, but take the time to get a professional opinion on the pros and cons of doing so before you decide. Also don't forget to consider grandparents rights - in many states, even if the baby's dad is out of the picture, his parents can go to court and petition for visitation rights. Good luck, and try not to stress too much.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First and foremost, as others have stated, you should consult a lawyer so that you know that you are making legally correct decisions. Even though the father didn't sign the birth certificate, he is still the father and would have rights in regards to his child. For example, he would have to sign the paperwork if you thought about giving this baby up for adoption. The more involved you want or need him to be the more he will have a say in how the child is raised, but ultimately, a lot of those decisions are made by the courts.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your child's father could have rights if he wishes to evoke them. If he hires an attorney, he could be granted visitation rights if DNA results prove that he is, indeed, the child's father. Like vangoghfan, I think that your best mode of action would be to obtain a lawyer. Not only will the lawyer help you with a paternity case, he or she can explain everything about paternity and a child.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
You do need to consult a lawyer. Remember that even though he is not on the birth certificate he is still the baby's father, and still has parental rights unless he gives them up. He may need a paternity test to prove it before he can exercise those rights. Of course, you have rights too, including the right to child support from him. So I wouldn't be so quick to shut him out completely.
vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your best bet in this case would be to consult a lawyer. If you can't afford one, call the local bar association and they may be able to put you in touch with one who helps people without charging for advice.  This question should be very easy to answer quickly, and so your best option would be to seek professional advice.  Good luck to you!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. You would need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible who would have up to date information regarding paternal rights. I wonder if things might vary depending on which state you are in or other factors that you might not know about.