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1294093 tn?1280380036

Rights of an Unwed Father? So Confused! Please Help

Okay, my boyfriend and I had been together 2 years, then he got me pregnant. 4 months later he broke up with me (convenient right?). We both have part time jobs, I've had mine a lot longer than he has. Both jobs have benefits like insurance etc.
Since we broke up, he's started drinking (OFTEN), getting drunk every few days. Now he's smoking pot as well, and who knows what else. He's only 17 years old, I'm 19 years old. I haven't been doing drugs or drinking. He came to 2 or 3 doctors appointments with me but other than that hasn't been supportive at all.
When the baby is born, what are his rights? If I don't let him sign as the father, will he have any rights at all? Do I automatically get full custody, or what? And the name, I choose that too right, first, middle and last?
I don't want him around my son at all. I want full custody, considering he's an alcoholic/pothead and obviously is scared of commitment.
He wants to be in the childs life, but I don't want that at all.
10 Responses
1378071 tn?1313424421
hi.. when you have your baby, yes you do get to pick the name. if he doesnt sign the birth certificate then he will have to go to court to establish paternity and rights if he wants to be in the babys life... which he could get weekend visitation or if you can prove that he is unfit you can push for supervised visitation... if he does sign the B.C. and you file for child support you get full custody..

im sorry to hear that he left you, when i got pregnant the father was also 2 years younger and left me at 4 months into my pregnancy and turned around and got another girl pregnant our sons are 6 months apart.. he was somewhat part of my sons life when he was a baby but i would never leave my son with him and his girlfriend at the time bcz she was an unfit mother herself..i filed child support against him and did that **** them off . couple years ago my sons father and i got back together and recently married so i hope it works for you with whatever your choice is!!! =)
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oh what a complicated situation.  I'm sure you are nervous and scared about all that is ahead of you.  Glad you have insurance, that helps.  Hopefully you live with your parents.  There is much to think about----------  who will care for the baby while you are at work, does work provide enough income to support the child's needs, etc.  Lots to think about with a baby coming.

I'm sorry that your ex is going through a bad period and hope he pulls himself together.  Leaving a girlfriend after the two of you (and I say it this way because you also made the decision to have sex which runs the risk of a child . . . ) are expecting is terrible.  

As far as rights, well---------- that is exactly right.  If you are dead set on him not claiming fatherhood------- then it is HIS responsibility to establish paternity. He could court order it and go through the process.  (costs money) and then you can ask for child support (remind him of this).  Anyway, is there anyone you could speak to about this issue specifically?  A mom or dad?

I will say this though------------  your child is going to want to know their father.  Every kid needs a dad too.  It is not their fault that you made a bad choice in a partner.  Maybe when the child is an infant and your boyfriend is not too balanced with his activities---------   supervised visitation will be all that is acceptable--------- but woman to woman here-------- cutting dad out of the child's life is  not the best thing.  I sincerely doubt he wants custody.  What you should want is for him to meet the little one and for him to have some feelings for the child so that some day they can have a relationship.  I'm dead serious about this.  Psychologically, it is harmful for a child to feel like they have NO dad.  A kid needs both parents even when one is cruddy.  

I wish you the best of luck-------- I really do.  
Avatar universal
I do not know about the law, as I would imagine that it is different depending on which state you live in. However, looking at the situation from the view of what is in the best interest of the child I have to say, is this about you and your relationship with this boy or is it about what is best for the child. You both laid down and had sex, you both contributed to the pregnancy, the child is part of both of you and deserves all the rights that that entails, including the right to have and know both biological parents. The parents (both) of them have a responsibility to that child and the rights that come by being the parent. What gives anyone the right to exclude a parent from a childs life. Chances are at the ripe old age of 17, the father may or may not have anything to do with this child, but at the ripe old age of 19 with a temporary job, how do you plan to take care of this child alone? Forever? This is another thing to think about as far as the child goes, it has a right to be taken care of and is the responsibility of (BOTH) parents to provide for his/her needs and your feelings regarding your bf should not come before the welfare of this child. IMO
145992 tn?1341348674
I have a feeling that your boyfriend was this way even before you got pregnant so you kind of knew what type of person he was.  Not blaming you just saying that you should be very careful when it comes to picking your child's father.  On to the logistics....my gut feeling is that he will not want to have anything to do with this child once the baby is born.  Usually they don't just all of a sudden become responsible after when they aren't during the pregnancy.  But let's say he wants to, well, if he doesn't sign the birth certificate and his name isn't on it, then he will have to go to family court and prove paternity.  Which means he will request a DNA test.  At the time of birth if the couple isn't married, the father has to sign a document that states that he is the biological father of the child.  So without that signed document, he has no rights to his child.  Once paternity is established, you and him can work out visitation scheduling.  If he drinks and smokes and you can prove it in a court of law than you can ask for supervised visitation.  It's very hard to prove just by hear say, you would have to have witness statements and records.  You would get full custoday of the child regardless, unless you are neglectful or abusive, there would be no reason to take the child away from you.  If you are going to get child support, you will be proving paternity there so if you don't want him in your life, that means you won't get monetary help as well.  Child support are viewed as separate meaning, a father is obligated to pay for support but isn't obligated to see the child, but you will still be proving paternity.  Good luck.
184674 tn?1360864093
I understand that you must feel resentful and bitter towards your ex bf for leaving you in this situation. Believe me...been there, done that. It's tough going through and unexpected pregnancy alone when you know the father of your child is out living his life, doing what he wants when he wants, and owning up to no responsibility for what you both should be experiencing together.
Okay, to answer your questions.
When the baby is born, he willl have no rights to the child until paternity is established. Since you are not married, he can't "sign" the birth certificate, either, without a court-ordered affidavit claiming you BOTH agree with no conflict that the child is his and yours together. Otherwise, you could claim Joe Shmoe down the street as the father and say since his name is on the BC, then he has paternal responsibility (child support, visitation) when there is no *proof* that Joe Shmoe is the real father. Therefore, I believe it's most states' laws that unwed mothers can't simply put a father's name on the BC without some form of legal agreement beforehand or established paternity after the birth.
So yes, when the child is born, you will have full custody. You also can choose your child's name. As a note, however, if you give the child your last name, and then paternity is established later on, the courts could order that you change your child's last name to the father's last name. This does NOT happen in every case, but it happened in mine. This is just to give you a heads up.

Okay, now about his paternal rights and how you feel about his involvement.
It is NOT a wise choice to want to cut him out of your child's life. Your child is going to grow up and want to know who its father is, and feel that connection--not necessarily a bond, but a connection. It doesn't matter if the dude is SO horrible that he's not a suitable father, and I'm not saying that you should want him as an everyday influence in your child's life. What I'm saying is that when your child gets to be old enough to realize what a father is, they're going to wonder about their father. Where is he and why isn't he a part of my life? Why don't I know who he is?
And let it be known that if you end up describing him in a negative manner ("Your father isn't in your life because he's a drunk and a druggie and a loser and just left us. You're better off without him" type of description, or *anything* similar) your child will reflect on it and eventually end up self-associating with the father in some way as they get older ("Maybe I can't do so well at this or that because my loser dad was the same way").
The fact is that a child can come to their own conclusions about their parents, without one or the other coming between them and attempting to cut off all contact because of reasons A, B, and C.
My 5½ year old son's father has been an inconsistent figure in his life and basically a dead beat dad who had substance abuse issues in his past. He is still inconsistently involved, but wants to be invovled when he feels like it or remembers he has a son or whatever. And I don't stop him if I know he is in decent enough condition to visit with or talk to our son.
My son loves and adores his father, from a distance. I've never said anything bad about his father to him, and believe me, to this very day the man still p!sses me off and I can't stand him and he hasn't changed much. However, my son basically has almost no bond with him. To him, he's "my dad in Colorado" (we live in AL; he moved away from us). He's the "fun guy." I refer to him (when my son isn't around to hear) as the "vacation dad" or "Disneyland dad," because he has never had to deal with raising our child. He only chats with him on the phone once or twice a month, and this year, he had our son visit him in CO for 12 days and gave him the time of his life after he hadn't seen our son in over two years.
My son's REAL father is my husband, his step-father. He's basically adopted him as his own and is there for him each and every day, through the good times and the tough times, and has put more financial support into raising him in our three year relationship (with one year of marriage) than my son's bio father has in five years. My son even calls him Daddy, knowing full well that he's his step-dad.
But my son also longs for that basic connection to his bio father. And it's not my place or my right or anyone else's to stand in the way of that. Even after our chaotic past, where I've watched his substance abuse, had two protection orders against him, and dealt with years of his control, manipulation, and emotional and verbal abuse to me. He used to have supervised visitation for a short time, and even then, I was highly encouraging to him that he be there for his son.
Has my son benefitted from this? Definitely. Do I regret any part of my decision? Not at all.
You need to understand that this situation is not just about you and your ex anymore, and how resentful and disgusted you might feel about him. It's about doing what's best for your child. And unless he's an axe-murdering, child-molesting, wife-beating drug addict and alcoholic, you should at least do what you can to make sure your child has some form of contact and visitation with their father from time to time.
303824 tn?1294875001
I felt the same way you did when I was pregnant by my ex husband with our first child. That man beat me senseless, cheated on me every chance he got, controlled me and everything I did in every sense of the word, kept me away from friends and family, etc. I left him when I was 6 months pregnant, living in a motel with no car. Do you think I wanted him in my child's life? NO! He denied our son throughout my entire pregnancy, never came to a single appointment, wasn't there when I had the baby. It wasn't until our son was 2 months old that we went for a DNA test and proved him wrong and that it was his child. To may amazement, he stepped up but I didn't want him to. The only problem was I didn't have a say so on whether or not he could see his son. It wasn't my decision. My son had every right to know who his father was and to have a relationship with him. We BOTH made him, we BOTH are responsible for him, no matter how we feel about each other. We get along pretty good considering all the stuff he did to me, but I have pushed all that aside and have NEVER said a word (and will never say a word) to our son about all that. That is our adult business and I don't want our mistakes to affect the way my son views his father. Fathers have just as much right to their child as the mother. Whether or not he wants to exercise his right will remain a mystery until the baby is born.

With that said, you can withhold the baby until a custody agreement has been entered by the court if you feel he is not stable enough to take care of the baby. That is your right as a mother to protect your child. There probably won't be much you can do though once that court order is established unless you get supervised visitation. If you feel there is a risk, get it in the order and ask the judge to have him take random drug testing.

I wish you all the best!
996699 tn?1447233481
from experience and i spoke to a cop about this before for my personal reasons. okay if he you guys arnt married you have full custody automatically because you arnt married. you can take the baby away but if he chooses to pay to take you to court and fight it  diff story  even if he sighns the birth certificate you still have full custody because you arnt married.  also if its not in writing with the courts hes not obligated to pay anything by law the cop and courts told me even though thats his child signed the birth certificate. being married changes soooo much. like since you are not married you can leave the state or town no prob if he does you can call cops and boom kiddnapping now if you were married he caould do that you could do that no prob because you are married. it makes sucha big difference!!! and this is the word of mouth of the courts and cops...and honestly i doubt hes gonna pay the money to fight you so i wdnt worry
1138687 tn?1548647578
The really good thing is that you are excited to have this kid. That is the most important thing. And as far as custody goes, I am not sure, but it sounds like you will get your way if you do have to go to court, as he has a drug and alchohol problem. You seem responsible, so you should have no worries! Good luck with everything :)
1354001 tn?1281396193
hi
i have 2 sons by different fathers
my oldest son's father is in his life and my youngest's father isn't
i'm actually going through the custody thing with my oldest son, but that's not the point
if you do not name him as the father, there is nothing he can do unless he pays for a paternity test
as long as you don't put his name on the birth certificate, you have control
and trust me, since on drugs and alcohol so bad i doubt veryyy seriously he is going to pay for that test
so you do automatically have full custody

as for the name, that is completely up to you
like my oldest son has his father's last name and my youngest son has my last name

but that's jus my experience here in alabama
jus thought my input might help, i hope it does :))

best of luck with everything!

Avatar universal
april 2010 i left my fiance of  six years we have a child together, i had no intentions of getting back with him  i made the mistake of dating mr. x  i made it known to him and all his friends i wanted nothing serious just a friend but ended up sleeping with him once  thats all it took, we  dated for about a month but he kept getting obssesive with me so i ended it, after i found out i was prego i tried to make a friendship work but he kept spazzing out! he would binge drink, punch walls, say he would kill himself and threaten to take full custody so i quit talking to him completley he hasnt been here for the pregnancy at all my fiance was there through it all so we both decided it was better that way mr.x isnt good for my baby. zip to feb 2011 my fiance and i tied the knot in the labor and delivery room baby came after and we put my  husband down as the bio father  so my question is if mr. x tried to get custody & i fought it how would it  go down and how much $ would he pay   tx
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