Skip to main content

What are my rights as an unwed mother

Brooklyn, NY |

I'm expecting and I want to know what my rights are regarding custody. I pan to allow the father to visit as much as he would like but the child will have my last name and I will not out his name on the birth certificate

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Both the mother and father have equal rights with respect to custody unless and until there is an agreement or court order delineating who has custody and who has parenting time when. If the father's name is not on the birth certificate he can still establish paternity by signing an acknowledgment of paternity or filing in court for paternity and taking a DNA test

  2. Agree with Ms. Silberstein with one addition: the father should submit forms to the "putative father registry" which is maintained by the State of New York to secure his parental rights. I'm attaching their web brochure which discusses the forms he needs to submit and how the program works. Please give the father this brochure or link to the website.

    This answer is provided under the “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states that any information provided is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or any other attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. In particular, my answers and those of others are not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely solely upon Legal Information you obtain from this website or other resources which may be linked to an answer for informational purposes. You understand that questions and answers or other postings to the Site are not confidential and are not subject to attorney-client privilege. The full Avvo ToU are set forth at . In addition, while similar legal principles often apply in many states, I am only licensed to practice in the State of New York and Federal Courts. Any general information I provide about non-New York laws should be checked with an attorney licensed to practice in your State. Lastly, New York State Court rules (22 NYCRR Part 1200, Rule 7.1) also require me to inform you that my answers and attorney profile posted on the site may be considered "attorney advertising" and that "prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome".

  3. You and the child's father have the same custodial rights regardless of whether the two of you were married or if the father's name is on the birth certificate. Without a court order or agreement, you will not be able to dictate a parenting schedulle for the child. You should have an order or agreement in place that you can enforce and also receive child support.

Child custody topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics