Does Unwed Father On Birth Certificate Have Rights ?
The law is profoundly clear about the rights of an unwed father -- he effectively has none -- even if his name appears on the Register of Births. The appearance of his name on a birth certificate is only accepted as proof of paternity.
But the law is as emphatic about child support which an unwed father is obliged to pay. Many people mistakenly believe that an unwed father can equate himself with a father who is divorced or separated. This, however, is not the case and does not apply to an unwed father.
Unmarried fathers often face challenges in the family courts seeking visitation rights and/or rights on the custody of the child. The law does not allow them an automatic right to spend time with the child.
Joint guardianship rights can be obtained, but at the mother’s discretion and subject to her agreement. In such a case, both sign a statutory declaration of joint guardianship which gives the father a better footing on access.
The rights of unmarried fathers to gain access to their children are normally established only after paternity is determined. When the child is born out of wedlock, paternity may be established if the father voluntarily signs a declaration stating that he is the biological father or if they go through the court by filing a paternity action. However, the agreement may be amended or terminated in certain instances.
An unwed father does not even have the right to veto an adoption. But he can preserve his right to a paternity action to veto an adoption. This entails obtaining a court order to retain the child in the same state and thwart a third-party adoption.
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