It can be difficult for an unwed father to claim a child as their own, especially if they are not on the best of terms with the mother. The question on the minds of many fathers-to-be is: What rights do I have to my unborn child?
It’s important for men in this situation to know the following:
- the majority of rights concerning a pregnancy are awarded to the woman carrying the child;
- pregnancy is considered a medical condition and therefore does not legally obligate a woman to provide any information about the pregnancy to the child’s father; and
- a woman’s doctor is forbidden by HIPAA to release any information to the father about the patient or her unborn child.
Father’s Rights & Abortion
Women in the United States have the legal right to terminate their pregnancy. They are under no obligation to inform the father of the unborn child if they decide to have an abortion, nor are they obligated to obtain the father’s consent before the abortion.
A father who is aware of a planned abortion and would like to keep the child can meet with a father’s rights attorney to draft a legal document. In this document, the father can create an agreement to pay full medical coverage for the mother during pregnancy and birth and absolve the mother of all parental responsibility once the child is born. However, it is still a pregnant woman’s right to choose whether or not she would like to carry the child to term.
Father’s Rights & Adoption
Once the child is born, the father can seek a paternity order to establish his paternity of the child. It is illegal for a mother to consent to adoption before a child is born. If the father can quickly establish paternity, he can halt any adoption proceedings and seek custody of the child.
Protecting Your Paternal Rights
Any father not married to the mother of his children will face challenges. If you are having struggles pertaining to your paternity, reach out to our firm today. We will do what we can to remedy your situation.
Contact our firm online or call us at (727) 245-9009 to schedule a consultation.