Does the father of an unborn child have the right to be present at the birth?

Kirsty - posted on 09/14/2011 ( 80 moms have responded )

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So it might be a strange question but one i need to ask on behalf of my younger sister who is pregnant with her first child....

A friend of hers told her that the baby's dad has a right to be present at birth...Normally i would have to agree with her friend but i dont think the friend knows what the situation is....

So to begin with,
When my sister told the ex she was preggers he went crazy and told her she had to have an abortion, he would not let her go to work because he was taking her down to get it done...He wouldn't let her leave the house to meet me for coffee, i was going to go get her anyway...He eventually let her come meet me and i wouldn't let her go home to her house (she didn't want to go anyway)...After my partner got home from work, they went and collected her things from the house along with another friend....In the process the ex smashed my sisters flat screen TV and went to do something to my Sister (dunno what i wasn't there), so my partner who is a fully qualified/trained security guard got him to the ground, held him and waited for the police...Once they came my sister, partner and friend finished packing her things...While doing that they found a note the ex had written basically saying he wanted nothing to do with the baby it wasn't his. He wanted my sister but not the baby...(thats putting it Politically correct)

My sister didn't plan this pregnancy, she was on the pill so obviously this baby is meant to be...My sister wants him to be involved with the child later on (only for the childs sake), just not at the birth

Personally i think he gave up any rights to the baby when he tried getting her to abort and after writing the note...

What does everyone think?

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Michelle - posted on 09/15/2011

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Kirsty: Make sure the hospital know the history before she goes into labour. That way they can be prepared and have things in place for your sister.

Erin - posted on 09/14/2011

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No, the father has no right to be at the birth. He has a legal right (unless proven otherwise) to have access to the baby, but she is under no obligation to have him be present for the birth.

In fact, in this case it sounds like a terrible idea. The last thing she needs is a volatile ex around when she's at her most vulnerable. Keep him away.

Tara - posted on 09/14/2011

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If he went that ballistic when he found out she was pregnant I think he would be a danger to the child. If it were me I wouldn't want him anywhere near me or my child.

I think she has some serious wishful thinking if she thinks he is going to A) want to be involved in the child's life and B) be any kind of good/safe influence for that child.

She can choose who is with her at the birth and the hospital will help her enforce that. Personally, I would be filing for a restraining order and making sure the lowlife never got around me or my children, period.

Brianna - posted on 09/15/2011

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he doesnt have the right to be in the delivery room unless she wants him there. there is no law that says she has to let him be there. i hope u guys still have that note?.. i think after the baby is born she should immediatly fine for full custody.. i wouldnt let him about the baby he sounds like the try to hurt the baby or to kidnap the baby just out of spite! she should have any problems getting full custody of the baby cuz of the police report from that day and if u still ahve the note that would help also anything else she can think of to use against him. i think for the childs sake its better to not see its dad.. she can have full custody and still recieve child support

Angela - posted on 09/16/2011

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She can request secure admition. Noone will know she's there unless she gives them the room number. They will not give out any info and she won't even come up in the registry. I had a friend do this to keep a mentally ill parent away. Talk to the social worker at the hospital to set it up. He has no legal rights to the child unless he goes to court after its born.

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Steffanie - posted on 12/31/2011

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Make sure that she establishes paternity and goes after child support. He might not have wanted to be a father, but he legally has to support his child.

Steffanie - posted on 12/31/2011

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If she hasn't already, have her get a restraining order. It is obvious he is abusive and cruel. If he asks for visitation, ask the court for monitored, and mandatory counseling. It is obvious that he needs anger management. My ex was abusive as you described, and I just did not tell him that I was in labor. It would have stressed me out, and made it a nightmare. When she is in labor, she needs support, not a child that has tantrums!

Jessica - posted on 12/30/2011

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You never know how someone will be in the future. I would never want the burden on me from my kids about their dad not being in their life. Meaning point the finger at me for them not seeing or knowing their dad. Its not my dad. Its theirs. And for crappy ass fathers karma will catch up with them.

Amber - posted on 12/30/2011

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that note basicly he signed his rights away so he has no right to be in that childs life or in your sisters life any guy can be a sperm donor but it takes a real man to be a dad and obviously this guy is a still a boy she could do so much better and find a guy who accepts her and her child and be a better dad then this guy would

Jessica - posted on 12/30/2011

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Some men want to know that its theirs 100% and I cant blame them. ANd one they know its theirs they change. Some dont though. Everyone has a right to their opinion about abortion too.

Lisa - posted on 12/29/2011

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Jackass! At the end of the day it's up to her though. The crap thing about sharing children with a person you aren't with is that like it or not, they are a part of your life...forever! If she wants him there it won't hurt for him to see what a cost it is to bring a baby in to the world and perhaps it ill help him develop respect for her...who knows. Fingers crossed it works out for her.

Sophie - posted on 12/28/2011

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He can be at the birth if your sister chooses to allow him there but where I'm from there is no legal obligation for him to be there. Your sister will need loving supportive people around her when she gives birth not some guy who caused her pain. Takes more than making a baby to be a father!

Elizabeth - posted on 12/27/2011

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Make sure to keep that note in case you need to submit it to court.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW HIM TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE BABY, THE DUE DATE, WHICH HOSPITAL SHE HAS CHOSEN, ETC. I am a Nurse, you want this to be a joyful occasion bringing a new life into the world, not a terrifying one wondering if he will show up to hospital. We have CODE PINK for a reason

Eileen - posted on 12/27/2011

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Why are you asking this question? the answer is staring right at you, he is a danger to your sister and the baby, his a pycho. Dont even let him near her or the baby. Omg I have a picture image of my sisters, if they had to go through that, I will be sooooo on guard

Margaret - posted on 12/27/2011

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In my opinon he should not be there at all as it seems he as a violent streak in him so no and your sister should sit and think if he went for her while being preggers what can he do to the child once it is born .
The childs saftey comes first plus be sounds of her she will make a great mum even if it is on her own

Melissa - posted on 12/27/2011

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I think women have the right to choose who's in the room with them at the birth. I had a similar situation - I got pregnant and the guy got really pissed and broke up with me. He didn't get violent, but he did say some very nasty things in the heat of the moment, when I decided not to abort. He came around a few months later (we'd kept minimal contact) and said he'd decided to help raise the baby. By the time the baby came, we'd forged a good friendship and he was in the delivery room for the entire (26-hour) labor and he was a great companion. I was glad he was there. He's been a wonderful father ever since; I'm glad I got over the initial hurt/anger at his earlier words. So it's possible your sister's ex could have a change of heart. BUT... your sister gets to say who's in the room. He doesn't necessarily have rights.

[deleted account]

I don't believe circumstances have anything to do with a father's "right" to be present at the birth of his child. A father has no "right" to be present. It is the mother giving birth. She and only she can decide who she wants with her at this stressful and difficult time. Even in a loving marriage, the dad is there because the mom wants his support, not because he has some right to be there. If any man asserted his "right" to be there, he is indicating that he does not care about mom.

Gabriele - posted on 12/25/2011

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I worked as a social worker and teacher for many years. If the guy can get that violent with her things and attack a pregnant woman, what makes her think he or the child would be safe with him later on? Abuse is abuse and it does not get better by itself. Mom has a right to say who is and who is not at the birth. But if she does not want him there he has no "legal" right to just show up. Make sure she hangs on to that note, it can come in very handy later on should other problems occur with him.

Heather - posted on 12/25/2011

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If it was me i would not want him there for the birth... and he would NEVER be left ALONE with the baby.

The father has no rights to be in the room if your sister does not want him in there.... even if they were married. Its her choice who is and is not in the room.... if you still are not sure call a family lawyer and and them... most do a free consult.

Veroushka - posted on 12/25/2011

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Legally he doesn't have any rights. And the decision is basically up to your sister. But I know personally how having a child that wasn't planned and in the beginning unwanted by her father changed him by witnessing her enter the world. My story isn't as eventful as your sister's but he didn't want nor was he ready for a child. He is a wonderful dad, not perfect but he tries. Births tend to be an emotional revelation for most men...

Nova - posted on 12/24/2011

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Respecting your sister's wishes means respecting his wish not to be a father. Your sister chose to have this baby meaning that she accepted all the penalties, trials and rewards of motherhood. She cannot make someone co-parent a child if they are not willing or ready. Good luck to you aunty and congratulations on your pending niece/nephew.

Claire - posted on 12/20/2011

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Thats what I said. he legally cannot be there if she says that. legal in a sense to the hospital could get sued if she says she doesnt want him there and they give him access or tell him anything about her condition

Heather - posted on 12/20/2011

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Legally? No, the father has NO rights until paternity is legally established.

Ewkshy - posted on 12/18/2011

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Your sister needs to figure a few things out, if this guy has been abusive in the past (emotionally or physically) shee needs to realize he is not a good father figure to be around and should perform the proper court filings to ensure that she and the baby stay safe, including filing a restraining order. If this was an isolated incident that can be assumed was done out of frustration and anxiety of having a child (especially if they are both young) and isn't a sign of abusive patterns your sister has a serious decision to make. That decision is how she wants the relationship as mother, father and baby to begin. Once the baby is born he has a legal right to petition a paternity test and petition for joint custody of the child. Which he will do if he seriously wants to be part of the child's life which it seems to me, after consideration, he does. She doesn't need to nor should she allow him to be present at the birth if it will be uncomfortable for her. To ensure this she just needs to tell the hospital staff before hand exactly who is allowed to be in the room during the birth and who can visit immediately following, the hospital staff will take care of the rest. However, if your sister truly wants him to be part of the babies life she should not try to hinder his ability to be a dad. I suggest your sister discuss a plan with both him and her birth support team (mother, you whoever is advocating for her) and have it set in place when he will be able to visit the baby. An example would be that your mother or her call him when she is going into the hospital to have the baby he might want to come to the hospital and wait while this happening whether or not he is allowed in the labor and delivery waiting room is up to her. She must understand that he may want to be physically at the hospital your sis can probably understand his want to be close in case there was unexpected complications. Then there should be a plan to be inform him when the child is born and that the baby is healhy etc. there also needs to be an understanding of when he can see the baby, he needs to be prepared if your sister wants a few hours or the first night just to herself with the baby to bond and adjust but if she does this it will probably be inappropriate to have your entire extended family in and out of the room while he is being left out. The point is he has no legal right to be there but if your sis expects him o step up and he wants o step p then she should allow it otherwise it is going to make raising a child together more difficult as he will be resentful that he couldn't share in the experience of the birth of his child. But no he should not be physically in the room during birth if they are not 100% comfortable and supportive of each other.

Liz - posted on 12/17/2011

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Keep him away, you hear things like this and if he just wants her then he might try and do something stupid.

[deleted account]

Well... I had a scheduled c-section and I felt like it was the right thing to do to have him there. He DID make sure that I wasn't overdosed on pain meds this time though. ;)

I totally understand NOT wanting or allowing someone there, but for me... it was the right decision. Not having him there would not have alleviated any of the stress I was under.

Cheryl - posted on 12/17/2011

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HE has lost any rights that he may have had through his actions! He can also go straight to hell.... I have no respect for anyone who does this to a woman and then leaves her. It was all just for sex in his eyes. They dont even need to love you.... Pfft. She's well rid of him!

Amanda - posted on 12/17/2011

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@ American & Teresa, Labor and delivery is not easy for some mom to begin with why further add to her stress by having someone there she doesn't want. Time to open his eyes can come later. That moment is about MOM and BABY and no one else.

Claire - posted on 12/16/2011

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He doesnt have a right to be there legally. She is the patient and the hospital and nurses have to legally respect the mothers/patients wishes to whom she wants there. They cant even legally tell him if he calls that she is a patient there. HIPAA is good for certain things

[deleted account]

America... that would be the reason I had my now ex at the birth of our son. I knew if anything could 'snap' him back to reality it would be the birth of his son. Nope... he still hopped on a plane the next day....

Rose - posted on 12/15/2011

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If he is that adament about not wanting a child I wouldn't want him to see the baby at birth or later on. who knows what he might do. if a man wants you but not the child get rid of him and if he wants you to abort a child that you and him produced get rid of him. red flags. let him go.

America3437 - posted on 09/20/2011

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He does have the right to be there but that is her call and the hospital should back her in her decision. Now he very well may change his mind about the whole situation when he sees a precious life brought into this world so I would seriously consider the option of having him present. babies do strange things to men and security is present at hospital to handle any situation that may arisebut at least he should have a chance to witness the birth of his child. I'm not saying that she should go back and try to make it work for the baby's sake just that he deserves the chance to decide for himself.

[deleted account]

Not sure what state your in but here in MA if a woman has a child and is unwed she automatically has full legal and physical custody of her chil. The father has zero rights, even if a father is listed on the birth certificate. For the father to have any rights at all he would have to go to court and file for visitation. Or if you just don't list him on the birth certificate then he would still have to go to court but they would require him to pay for a paternity test to prove he is the father and that can be quite costly. I personally would cut him off completely right now during pregnancy, you shouldn't have to deal with his shit right now, this should be a happy time in your life. Its stressful enough. Contact him after the child is born and tell him he can see the child but make sure its on your terms, that your comfortable and your in your own environment with people around if he decides to flip out about something. Good luck!

Valerie - posted on 09/19/2011

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Okay so I didn't read all of this but for the most part and for one it is the mother's choice who she wants in the room. She has all say who and who can not be in there. I have a friend who was in a similar situation and cops had to show up at the hospital and keep him out. 2 months down the road after she had her baby she got a no contact order on him which is up by now which she needs a new one. But no, even someone who is married could still say she doesnt want her husband in the room. I don't know who would but no one can be in room without mothers consent!

[deleted account]

Ok, it is outrageous you sister wants that man involved with the kid. for the child's sake???? WOW... okay, its a very different situation. Its not like she broke up with her partner because they had differences and just didn't get along. The child ofcourse would deserve to know his father, and have a relationship with him no matter what happened between the two.

On the other hand, you are talking about a guy who for a start didn't care about the child's well being,, by wanting her to have an abortion. Second of all by what you tell he is a very violent person. What good can he do to her child? the least you would get is that when her child grows up will be a violent person and will have acquired negative traits from this man.

Look, I was dating this man years ago, we were a couple for years, and he was a very violent person with me. I couldn't leave him, and if you ask me why, I really don't know, I guess I was suffering form Stocklhoms syndrome... the thing I got the guts to leave him after a lot of years of suffering, to find one or two months later I was pregnant. He knew and all he said it wasn't his and he wanted me to have an abortion. I didn't have money, I didn't have a way of taking care of myself and my baby bump. He offered help, and "forgiving me" for "cheating on him" if I gave the baby in adoption after it was born. All i received form him during my entire pregnancy was a violent behavior form him, he would lock me up in the house and I would even spend three days without eating any food. From the blue when I was like 6 or 7 months, he started saying I was pregnat with his child (he kept me locked so that no one knew I was pregnant) for no apparent reason so when my daughter was born he forced me to make him her father and all. THat was a really bad legal situation with him. I finally got rid of him and he is very very very far away from me and my daughter, but he even tried to kill me and do harm to her.

I see my situation similar to your sister's... so I did EVERYTHING I could to get him as far away as possible from my daughter. Even though I AM VERY AWARE a child needs a paternal figure, but it doesn't have that kind of paternal figure. And it doesn't matter if that paternal figure is not "real" family. She has now a very good paternal figure and she is happier than ever. When her real father was with her, and she had to be in his house for a number of days, she was the SADDEST she could be, when she returned she would be crying all the time and didn't even want to eat. Do you want that for your sister's child?

Amanda - posted on 09/17/2011

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The woman gets to choose who is there for a reason. It sounds like the doctors and nurses might have qualms with him being there also.

Sadie - posted on 09/17/2011

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1st no he does not have to be in the room she can have who ever she wants make sure her OB knows what her wishes are. when i had my son i told the hospital i don't want any vistors so my name was not on the door and if anyone called they couldn't even say i was there, she might want to go that route. my husband and mother were still able to visit me cause they knew which room i was in but nobody else could.
2nd your sister should talk to a lawyer about what to do with the birth certificate and the father, if i were her i would see the best way to get full custody and child suporrt with out him getting any visitation or just county supervised visitation,

good luck to your sister and enjoy being an auntie

[deleted account]

He does have a right to be involved in the child's life (unless the court removes that right), but he does not have a right to be at the birth unless SHE says it's ok.

I know this cuz I almost didn't have my son's father at his birth. Even though he WAS legally my husband at the time he had already filed for divorce and was leaving (moving away) right after our son was born. In my situation... I ended up having him there. In HER situation.... no way!

Jay - posted on 09/17/2011

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She can just say he is not the dad if you are worrying about any legal rights..
If he wanted to prove he was the dad (I doubt he will), It will be too late to be at the birth..
And for child support, she can change her mind and say oh ya the dates add up to him and prove it in court..
I wouldn't usually condone any of this, but he sounds like an ass!! x

Donna - posted on 09/17/2011

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Very sad what he did...i would be so mad at him but the most important thing is the child's welfare..right now i don't think he has the right to be at the birth..but if you find it in your heart to forgive him it might just change him whole attitude about you and the child..who knows it might just be for better..people do make serious mistakes in life and end up regretting the for the rest of their lives...

Brendalee - posted on 09/16/2011

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I speak from experience when I say do not have him there. No one should tell him that she has even gone into labor, tell him after they are out of the hospital. I had a gun pulled on me by a friend's crazy ex in the hospital. She felt sorry for him and he was treating her well and I was at work so she let him be there when their daughter was born. I arrived to him screaming at her and her histerical over the name of the child. She fortunately was able to get through the birth before he went balistic on her. I got security and by the time they caught up with him (because he took of knowing I really would call security) the gun had disappeared, so he did not get arrested. We did get him removed and banned from the hospital as long as my friend was a patient due to the emotional distress she was placed under. I don't care how "good" they are being if they act like you described and don't get help for it it will happen again.

Candace - posted on 09/16/2011

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as far as "he" is concerned....sounds like he already gave up "any" rights to his baby. He proved it by trying to be controlling with her right from start. I say "kick him to the curb!!"

Terri-Anne - posted on 09/16/2011

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She has the right to have anyone she wants in the room, not the other way around. At the hospital she and the unborn baby are the patients and the hospital should be focusing on "the best for the patient" situation, so no he has no "right" I would seriously get her to re-think allowing him to be part of the baby's life when he has already made it clear that he isn't interested in the child. If she does still go ahead with it, then insist that he has anger management and possibly a pysche review, this guy is already showing some worrying traits. I personally would encourage her to break all ties with him and (whether or not true) agree with him that he is NOT the father. Personally I would rather the locals thought I was the town bike (easy lay) than to have this guy anywhere near my kid!

Amanda - posted on 09/16/2011

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The hospital doesn't even have to be made aware of the situation. Your sister has rights as a patient and can legally dictate who is allowed in her room at anytime and who is not. He can not get any information as far as she or the baby is concerned because that will violate her HIPPA rights.

Shauna - posted on 09/16/2011

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Who is the friend telling her that the EX has the right to be there? What a friend- perhaps she missed the part where the guys got violent with her pregnant friend and the part where he was trying to force an abortion?? And what about when the kid asks dad if he was present for its birth- the sucky father can explain that he tried to force its mother to abort it so he wasn't permitted at the hospital. Luckily for him, he wasn't in jail. BS. He has no right to be in that room if it makes the mother uncomfortable. She should make sure not to tell the "so-called" friend when she goes in to labor- i'd fear that this person would tell the ex and then he would show up- the very last thing she needs is any additional drama at the hospital when she's going thru the birth. UGH. He'll have to make up for his absence after the birth and once he cools off a bit if he chooses to be in the child's life...

Loida - posted on 09/16/2011

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Congratulation on what you did. You just did a right thing to get your sister out of that horrible relationship. The baby has the right to know who is his/her father is, but not to be present on the delivery and no rights at all to the whole being of the baby. don't lose the letter the guy did so that you have the reference someday to slap it to his face that he already give up all his right to the baby. Baby is a blessing from God, there is no accident pregnancy, God allow it for our own good. I was a also a mother of a fatherless child but my boyfriend was not a monster like your sister's own (sorry to say that) he loves to see the baby, it just happened that my mother and my siblings didn't like him for me, but I tried my best to show my baby to his father, but unfortunately it didn't work out until my son passed away. just tell your sister that the baby has the right to know who his father is but no need to be the father of her baby and she is blessed that she has a sister like you.

Beth - posted on 09/16/2011

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No he does NOT have any rights at all, until he is proven the father, or you let him sign the birth certificate. You can have security throw him out of the hospital if you want too. You are the patient and you and only you are the one with the rights in the hospital.

Norma - posted on 09/16/2011

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I wouldn't want him around me, my baby or my family and friends with those kind of behavior problems

Norma - posted on 09/16/2011

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I had a neice who had an ex like that, very abusive, They split before the baby was born, but when she went to the hospital a friend of theirs called him. He was the most rude and sulky guy I've ever encoutered. He caused a lot of trouble at the hospital, kept her nervers torn all to peices, wanted to control who could come to see her and if he thought they paid to much attention to her, especially guy friends, he'd literally show his rearend at her after they left. heedless to say the security gaurds after giving him a talking to over his actions one time made him leave after the second episode with his little tamtrums. They got back together a week after the baby was born to work things out and it wasn't a month till she left him again. He was threatening to shut that screaming brat up for good if the baby didn't quit crying so he could get some sleep. He wouldn't let her get up at night to take care of the baby without a fuss and fight and her getting shoved around by him. NO, she's not with him anymore, thank God

Donna - posted on 09/16/2011

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i think if she don't what him there he shouldn't be there, he didn,t want the baby anyway, i wouldn't want a man there who told we to have a abortion.

Tricia - posted on 09/16/2011

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Not a chance. He gave up his right to that child when he tried to imprision your sister and force her to abort it..
All before he smashed up the house and tried to hurt her when your husband was helping her get out and to safety..

I agree with another post that said if he was a danger to your sister when she told him she was pregnant, who knows what he would attempt in the delivery room..
Your sisters top priority is herself and her baby,Labour and delivery is hard enough on a woman without the added stress of having somebody in the room that has threatened your baby's life once!!
I really feel for her because i know what its like to want your babies father there as they come into the world! I was one of the lucky ones though because my husband is a good man and has stood by me and our children all the way.. It sounds like your husband is the same and ther has to be a good man out there for her too..
If your sister could see that she'd be better off on her own with babs with the support of your family than with that a**hole.

I hope this helps and I wish your sister her baby and all your family the best of luck for the future :)

Jennifer - posted on 09/16/2011

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He has absolutely no right to be at the birth and definitely should not be if he is abusive and/or if he makes her feel anything less than totally supported and comfortable (and not vulnerable or doubting herself). If he feels that way about the baby and is abusive, the child will be better off without him. Good luck and many blessings to all of you and this child.

Alli - posted on 09/16/2011

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The mother has every right to choose who is present at the birth, my midwife and my doctor who were both there to deliver my daughter told me that if my ex wanted to be in the room and I didnt want him to be they would call security and walk him out..the doctors are concerned with the mothers comfort and well being during the birth and if anyone is making her uncomfortable they will kick them out.

Lindsey - posted on 09/16/2011

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Wow, I agree. I don't think he should be there. Giving birth is incredibly intimate and an experience I would only want to have positive energy around. That's just my opinion. I do believe people can change, and God can do miracles, but if he's not showing any signs of remorse, what would be the point of having him there anyway? Does he even want to be there? Ultimately it needs to be what your sister wants and feels comfortable and safe with.

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