Rights of an unmarried father.

Asked over 2 years ago - Boynton Beach, FL

I am on my childs birth certificate. However my girlfriend (mother of my child) has left our residence with the child. I have not taken a paternity test or petitioned the courts for visitation thus far. If i am able to see my child and want to take her to see her grandmother, can the mother do anything to prevent it or cause me legal issues? I dont want to take the baby away (as she did) just want to take her out for the day.
Also, why isnt the father if unmarried, given notice of his lack of any and all rights to his child at birth in the hospital? Any REAL Father would be happy to take a simple swab of the gums to ensure his rights to his own child; IM SURE, if simply informed at the time of birth.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Andrea Ruth Gundersen

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Being listed on the birth certificate or having a DNA test confirming you are the biological father, does not give you legal rights to the child barring a court order establishing you as the legal father of the child. In order to gain legal rights as the child's father you will need to file an action to establish paternity. If the mother is agreeable you could have a agreement prepared to address the issue of paternity as well as establishing a parenting plan, time sharing schedule and child support which could then be filed with the court. Without a legal establishment of paternity, you have no legal rights to the child and if the mother refuses to allow you to see the child, there is nothing you can do. I would advise that you contact an attorney to discuss establishing the paternity of the child which would then give you legal rights as a parent to petition the court for time sharing (visitation). It is best to establish your paternity sooner rather than later to avoid the mother removing the child from the State and then having a multi-jurisdictional issue when you try to establish paternity.

  2. Jade Jan Rouzeau

    Contributor Level 2

    Answered . Taking a scientific paternity test does not in and of itself give you rights to the child nor does signing a birth certificate. You must file an action with the Court to request your rights and responsibilities be outlined in a judgment.
    The natural guardians statute provides that in the case of a child born out of wedlock the mother is the natural guardian and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless a court enters an order stating otherwise. If the mother objects to your having or seeing the child she can make doing so very difficult (absent a court order).


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