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Your rights as an unmarried father

As social media profiles have become more commonplace, it has become easier for men to know if they may be a father. But if you are not married to the mother of your child, you could be left with no rights to your child if you don’t take action.

Proving paternity

The first step in gaining any rights of your child is to prove to the courts that you are the child’s father. This can be done even before the child is born through a non-invasive prenatal paternity test. If you are not married to the mother of your child, it’s a good idea to establish paternity as soon as possible.

This will grant you rights if the mother wants to put the child up for adoption or if you are interested in establishing custody of the child.

Denying adoption

In most cases, the biological father of a child must give his consent in order for a child to be put up for adoption. However, in addition to establishing your paternity, you must also play an active role in the child’s life in order to retain this right.

If the birth mother has not had contact with you for an extended period of time or does not know your whereabouts, your consent may be deemed unnecessary. An attorney can help you fight for your rights to your child if you are worried that the birth mother may misrepresent you.

Gaining custody

Even if you are dating the mother of your child or have an amicable relationship with her, it’s important to get a court-ordered custody plan once your child is born. Should issues arise in the future, this order will help you retain your right to see your child.

Infants should spend a great deal of time with both parents and can be transitioned between households frequently. As your child ages, different custody plans will become more appropriate.

Negotiating child support

Some people still hold a bias for the mother to be the custodial figure and gain child support from the father. But, fathers have as much of a right to their child as the mother. An attorney can help you negotiate who should pay child support and for how much.

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