What rights does my daughter's father have?

Jane - posted on 12/05/2012 ( 107 moms have responded )

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While I was pregnant with my first child her father was in jail and I met someone else. My new husband signed her birth certificate when she was a year old and he is also now the father of my second child. Now her biological father is coming out of jail. Does he legally have any rights if my husband is the one taking care of her? If yes, can I make a case against it if he's an addict and in and out of jail?
01/28/14
As an update to this its been a year since he's been out of jail and he's only communicated twice a call on the day he got out and a text the day after her bday saying he left her a gift at my home , I'm really glad he's not in our lives that doesn't guarantee he won't bother us in the future unfortunately for him he's still struggling with crack so I don't think he's interested in being part of her life I'm really fortunate having found a good father for both my daughter's we're really happy hope to not hear from my ex at all but I think my daughter will understand if I ever have to tell her about him
03/29/14
Well this is another update I still haven't had any contact with my ex he is currently sitting in County jail facing another robbery case and 25 yrs. , I'm definitely glad he isn't involved in my daughters life, when I first posted for advice I was worried I would have to let him take her for weekends knowing he smokes crack I didn't trust him and his mom kept saying she would take me to court and say I was an unfit mother , so I asked for advice from a lawyer and she said let them take you to court you have nothing to worry about not only do they not visit the baby they don't have any contact with you and if I could prove he had a drug addiction we could ask for supervised visits which is all I really wanted, so I expected a war when he got out in January 2013 I'm relived it was nothing I expected I haven't heard anything from his mom and he only got in touch with me maybe 2-3 times I the beginning of the year I can't deny I'm happy he's not part of my daughter's life because I feel like she would be the one who ends up hurt when he's in and out of her life because of drugs and jail meanwhile my husband takes care of her and loves her takes care of her and more importantly is here for her everyday, I do feel bad in a way because I wish his life were different and he would choose having a relationship with his daughter instead of chasing a high no matter the consequences I wish the best for him and hopefully he's able to better his life until then I'm not willing to have him in her life. Thank you all for all your advice this has been a great way to vent.

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Laura - posted on 12/06/2012

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You guys are scaring this woman to death. Stop unless you are a lawyer and know the laws. What you should be saying is to get a lawyer and get advice from somebody that is qualifyed to give you this information. By the way my current husband has adopted my daughter and it does have his name on the birth certificate.

Barbara - posted on 12/06/2012

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Look into your states laws... In NJ, if you are legally married, that man is considered the father no matter what. And actually has to prove that he isn't the biological father... The fact that the father was in, or has been, in jail may change some of the circumstances. I have had custody issues of my own, and found it helpful that I have a sit-down with a family lawyer. There may be a fee involved, but this way you know the information is correct for your state, and it's laws. Good Luck!

Tarra - posted on 12/06/2012

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Oh I'm sorry, I thought her question was a yes or no type question, not a questions of legal or not legal. Yes she wanted an answer, but calling her a criminal is asinine!

Jenny - posted on 12/06/2012

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Just to clear up one point first: If she didn't want the truth, she wouldn't have asked. Secondly, all the comments given here are true and a lawyer will tell you the same. To avoid legal issues, I suggest you follow that advice and seek legal council, as well as looking into your state's laws on your own. You may be on solid ground considering the birth father's situation, but he may still have rights as the father. In some states, as was stated in an earlier post, the husband of the mother is assumed to be the biological father and does have to prove he is not in order to have his name NOT appear on the birth certificate. So, whether this was legal or not depends on your state's laws. However, in order for your husband to legally adopt her the birth father will have to either give up his rights or be deemed an unfit parent. This may be fairly easy, given his current disposition. In order to get visitation of any kind, an estranged parent has to prove both a history of concern for the child's well being and a measure of stability- how much of either would be determined by the judge involved. If he was never involved with or attempted to contact her, then he may have given up his rights by default. So do not despair, but definitely speak to either an attorney, your state's Vital Statistics department, or the family advocate at your local court house. They will be able to advise you on the applicable laws in your area. Good luck!

Tarra - posted on 12/06/2012

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Consult a lawyer or contact Vital Statistics. If you get it changed now you should be fine. Good luck and don't listen to all advice everyone gives!

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LalaBoom - posted on 12/05/2013

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He can challenge paternity and get his rights established. You can face legal repercussions for lying in an official document.

I'm curious to know what the situation is now...

Deanna - posted on 06/24/2013

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Hi I have a quest,I split with my violent ex drug user still is and a dealer but we have a 13 year son he is the biological father but isn't on the bc neither does he have perental resposibility he wasn't around much n just upset my son growning up coz daddy never come to see him now myt son is 13 and there are no boundries at his fatjers my son told me he's moving out to his dads.I spoke to my sons fater told him to brinmg him home but he won't my son is constantly missing school n I have been called in for a meeting,and I've called social services and told thjem the situation he took my child on a drug riun to poick up his drugs n I called police to escort me to get my son his father was out of his face on crack n I could see it but one of the police man said he can't see why he has to take my son out of the house as he coulkd not see any drugs I had to lol n said to the policeman n u say ur experienced (I don't thinjk so )I cud see he off his head so did his daughter,my son says he wants to live with his dad As he wasn't around much wen he was growing up I totally understand that comment from my son but my heary is broken I can't even get legal aid as he aint been. Abusive to me recently but we split 10 uyears ago,surely I have more right my son takes my last name and no order of contact or no pr order so why can't I get the police ti get my sin home please reply from a desperate mother also hear moving to london. On 31st with my son ,do I seriously have to grass the father up for drug dealing as social servuces told me that's what I may need ti have to do,desperatly need advice x

Haley - posted on 03/10/2013

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*also there is one other circumstance that may also depend on where you live, but where I live (in Texas) if you're not married at the time of birth, the father has to sign acknowledgement of paternity before he signs the birth certificate (Alternatively, if you are married the husband's name will automatically go on the BC unless he waives his rights).

Haley - posted on 03/10/2013

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There are lots of curcumatances around this. For one, it depends on which state you live in.
Yes, the birth certificate is for the biological parents; however take the case of a "traditional surrogacy" which is using the surrogate mother's eggs and the father's sperm - typically in the case that the intended mother has no viable eggs. In this case, when the child is born the surrogate mother's name goes on the birth certificate initially, but later in court a new birth certificate is issued with the intended mother's name on it. Also there are cases where paternity is either not known or the biological father has passed away, etc. but the mother's new husband or boyfriend intends to raise the child as their own. They voluntarily sign the acknowledgement of paternity and take responsibility for the child. I wouldn't say him signing the birth certificate was outright illegal, but definitely could be out of your favor if the biological father comes after you for his rights. Then again, if he knew about the child all along and you get a good lawyer, he'd have to pay for a paternity test and back child support to reclaim his rights, so that could work in your favor if he's not the kind of person to put up significant cash for that. If all else fails, his history of addiction and all could get him only supervised visitation. There are a lot of options if he comes after his rights- just start saving for a lawyer, maybe research prepaid legal which in some cases you can pay $50-$100/mo and when the need arises they'll represent you. It's like legal insurance, which is much easier than thousands of dollars in legal bills.

Nicole - posted on 03/08/2013

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And fyi you would NEVER lose your child....people are idiots...not one family has a perfect backbone...but you have twochildren with a MOM AND DAD that.raised them loved them and.did what they could to make sure they were taken care of...that makes you fantastic parents!

Nicole - posted on 03/08/2013

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First off I'm adopted.and BOTH my parents are on my birth certificate. I just went through this bc my ex signed the birth certificate (and he wasn't the father)and ended up in jail. Now my sons biological father is around. There were NO legal reprocussions for having my ex sign the birth certificate. If you can prove that the biological father isunfit he won't get visitation. Also depending on the age of the child they willhave a say if they want to see him or not. Also kudos to the man that stood up and took care of the child that wasn't his....he has been there and stupid paperwork aside...that makes him her dad! Anyone can be a father but it takes a real man to be a dad :)

Jamie - posted on 03/08/2013

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It is not illegal for someone else to sign the birth certificate if the father wants nothing to do with the child or if you are not sure as to who the father is and one steps up to be the father. In the state of Illinois the person you are married to at the time of the child's birth is "legally" the father. The hospital put my ex husbands name on my sons birth certificate even though we had been separated 2 years.

Melissa - posted on 03/08/2013

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In the state of Florida, your husband is listed on the birth certificate as the father, even if he doesn't sign it and he is not the father. Many states do this. Contact a lawyer to find out what you should do in the event he actually wants to be involved. All this worrying may be for nothing. Plenty of good guys don't step up to be fathers, chances are an in and out of jail addict isn't going to worry about your daughter, in fact, he may be relieved that you want nothing from him.

Andie - posted on 03/08/2013

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My husband has adopted 2 of my children and his name is on their birth cert.'s. That being said. Seek legal counsel, unless there is a lawyer on here giving you advice, the rest is just someone's best guess. Good luck!

Ella - posted on 03/01/2013

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The biological dad has some rights. If he wants to be a part of his daughter's life,some conditions have to be met. Stay clean,sober and supervised visits only. Never to be left alone with daughter. 1 second anything can happen. Protect your daughter and your family. Addicts of any kind are hard to predict. You never know what to expect. Been there done that with ex. If he wants to be a part, get a job and pay child support before any visitation rights. Get a lawyer and get something going. They are very tricky. They'll try sympathy,kindness and then anger. Be careful. Good luck.

Nancy - posted on 03/01/2013

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This is for Tonya.Your son is the one who's going to have to take them to court.And get a DNA test done.That will settle any doubts.He'll have to do the work no matter how much you want to.He's a big boy and needs to fight this himself.Needs to talk to a lawyer to find out what his options are.Good luck.

Tonya Jean - posted on 03/01/2013

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my son and this girl went together she was going through a divorce told my son she loved him they did get a place she went thru seeing a lawyer had said husband was to controling to make a long story short she got pregnant went back to her husband kept in contact with my son told him that her husband said he had no rights to the baby when the baby was born the baby was born in april 2010 and they didn't let my son know and the husband aht the girl put the husband as the father on the birth certificate she would come to my sons work place at night for him to see the baby because her husband worked 3rd shift he has threatened my son that he would never know the little boy the mans mother is a friend of mine and she told me she knows that the little boy is not her sons but my son baby boy we just want to be a part of his life we live in tn and tn grandparents do not have rights which is so wrong but my child deserves the right to know his son anyone have any suggestions please help

Diana - posted on 02/28/2013

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I'm under the impression that you are probably freaking out about this inside. All the talk of lawyers and parents' rights and worst-case-scenarios can't possibly be making you feel any better.

Here is what I would consider: Does the bio-dad know she's his? Is he asking to see her? If not I wouldn't get yourself upset about what could be. Not everything needs to be a legal battle. There are times when the wiser course of action is to do nothing. My youngest sister was conceived as an "indiscretion" during my mother's marriage her husband signed the birth certificate anyway and raised her as his own. Her bio-dad knew she was his, but didn't really care one way or the other. We never found out until years later about this "family secret", but it never became an issue.

I can tell you that as a parent, I would plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. Have a back-up plan in the event he would ever try to come and seek visitation. If it makes you feel better, spend an hour or so & see a lawyer. Run the scenario past the lawyer. He may very well tell you that it's not worth panicking over and he may have some preventative measures that you can take "just in case" the bio-dad would try to come & seek rights.

If he is just getting out of jail, he may not have any money and may just blow smoke in order to get to you. There are always those people (in jail or not) who thrive on drama. Don't let yourself get sucked in. Have your contingency plan with the lawyer if he is bugging you to make yourself feel better.

Good luck!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/28/2013

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Yep, Holly, my hubby was on the other side of that coin, the victim of a manipulative, vindictive bitch who kidnapped his daughter and denied him any contact. Until she wanted money or a place to live, and then she was "sorry" and all that bullshit.

It took us 20 years, plus legal fees to get rid of the foul results of her selfish ways. We now have NO responsibility for any of her decisions, and unfortunately his daughter had to be written off as well. It's too bad that these women don't understand the whole picture.

But, hey, you ladies go right ahead committing felonies to keep your kids away from the "bad man"

Holly - posted on 02/28/2013

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Shawnn, whats REALLY funny is i am ALL for women's rights and women's power and women's lib, I would even almost go as far as saying i am a feminist... but when i come to these boards, i feel as though i have to defend MEN'S rights strange i know... but GEEZ I WISH my children's father cared about his kids enough to want to see them even just a little. I WISH that they would be able to know who their father was, for their sake

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/28/2013

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I hate to say that about people, Holly, but you know I'm with you on this one!

How on earth can a "good" parent advocate kidnapping their own child, leaving the country, all to keep away the "bad" parent???

Yep STELLAR parenting ideas here! Kidnap your kids! Leave the country! Don't accept the FACT that you slept with someone and co-created a child...That kid must have been immaculately conceived, because none of these ladies seem to understand MEN have rights as well.

Holly - posted on 02/28/2013

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thank you shawnn! I am sorry but i try to not get all worked up over these posts, but it makes me FURIOUS!!!!! I just can't help it... people like diana make me want to puke... so evil, i NEVER imagined that such EVIL could be spouted. I don't know how these women can call themselves GOOD MORAL people... how can they look themselves in the mirror? how can they live looking their child in the face and know that they are such evil hateful people and they are going to raise their child in a evil hateful lie? how can they neglect their child by keeping their rightful birth father from them? these women are disgusting

Diana - posted on 02/28/2013

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If your new husband signed the birth certificate, then I would think that is as good as saying your daughter is his. No one else needs to know anything different. If your new hubby was there to sign the birth certificate who is to say that the child is not his? *wink, wink* :O)

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/28/2013

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As always, I love to read responses from all the women who "Know it all"...and don't advocate getting legal representation to determine who has what rights.

All of the "Of course he doesn't, the man that is caring for the kid has the rights" And the "not if you don't give him any rights" and the "as long as you don't let him see the kid, he has no rights"

LADIES, ALL PARTIES INVOLVED IN THE CONCEPTION OF A CHILD HAVE RIGHTS.

Legal representation is necessary to determine who's got exactly what percentage of rights, but the bottom line is, in this situation, the man knows he has a child, he's well within his paternal rights to petition for access to that child. PERIOD.

Dorothy - posted on 02/28/2013

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No he has no tie except that he is biologially he dad but the one who was there to sign the birth certificate and has taken care of her since she was a year old is the rightful father.

Diana - posted on 02/11/2013

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I don't know for certain what the rules are, but is the biological father listed on the birth certificate? I would think if not, it doesn't have to be an issue. I know that there are legal cases where a stepfather/boyfriend have signed the birth certificate then changed their mind when things didn't work out & were told by the courts that they signed the birth certificate so that makes them their kid. (Not saying that this will happen, just using it as an example of stepfather vs. bio-dad's rights.) How do you feel about the bio-dad seeing her? Does he want to see her (without you having to ask him)? If he doesn't show an interest, wouldn't be a good influence, & you would really rather not be bothered, I wouldn't rock the boat.

I know a lot of people say that your daughter should have a relationship with her father, but I am a realist. There are times when the biological father would do more harm than good. Just because one is a donor doesn't make them a father. I was raised by my stepfather who was a wonderful, caring person who treated me and my younger brother & sister (both biologically his) each as if we were his favorite. He was the best dad a person could ever ask for. Kids have an amazing capacity to adapt. Unless they are told that they are missing something, as long as they have the love, support, and caring that they need they will be able to accept the truth for what it is.

My mom & dad split up when I was 2. My mother was always relatively honest about my biological father from the time I was old enough to ask. Especially, because my paternal grandparents still came to visit me. She never bad-mouthed him in front of me. She did tell me that while she knew that he loved me, some people just are not sure how to be good parents because it is such a difficult and responsible job. She told me that it doesn't mean that he loved me any less or was a bad person, just that he didn't know how to do the grown-up things that are needed to take care of a child. He committed suicide when I was 3. Once I was older my mother told me some of the things that happened during their marriage and the reasons that she left. I assure you that he was severely mentally disturbed. I admire my mother greatly for never letting the trauma that she experienced cast a shadow over my memories of my father, but I can also tell you that I am grateful that between my maternal grandparents, paternal grandparents, and mother, visitation was always supervised.

You don't have to say to her that her daddy is a jailbird and good for nothing, that is why she can't see him. If she asks about him you can tell her that he loves her and is still working on figuring out how to be a daddy because being a parent is a very big responsibility. I always knew that my stepdad wasn't my biological dad growing up, but as a kid, I never felt any sort of difference. All I knew was that I loved my Daddy Harry (who passed away when I was 11) same as I did my mother (maybe more. LOL.) and that my Daddy Daniel loved me and visited sometimes...same as an Aunt or Uncle. Is it sad? Maybe to others, but not to me becasue I assure you that I am a very well-adjusted adult with a decent full-time job, a husband who I have been with for 23 years, & have 2 children, but I have absolutely no daddy-issues. LOL. As a matter of fact, the man that I married is a lot like my father (stepfather) and I know that they would have loved each other.

Ettina - posted on 02/11/2013

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Custody is not so much about who has a 'right' to the child as it is about the best interests of the child. Even if he can prove he's her father, he is a) an addict in and out of jail, and b) not the person the child has formed an attachment bond with. If you document those two facts, I doubt you'll lose custody - though you will probably need to let him have visitation.

Anna - posted on 02/11/2013

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depends on whether or not the birth father gave away his parental rights. as for making a case, you have to prove the addict part, but the courts will look at who has been taking care of the children. our systems these days are screwy because it does not matter or not if the birth father is around or not he still has rights, i know this is not what you probably wanted to hear but i have kinda been in your shoes.

Adam - posted on 02/10/2013

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My advice is get him on the birth certificate ASAP , the reality is that your child will eventually discover the truth, this might very well help him in getting his act together. Contact a lawyer and try to allow him to see his child , give him pictures if he wants .
You can screw the guy over endlessly or give him the opportunity to have some sort of involvement with his child.
This will depend heavily on him and who he is of course and if he is violent.
Let him prove himself if you believe he is sincere.
It is not his rights or yours that matter here , it is your child's rights that count.
All you can do is your best and in fairness and reason he must accept responsibility for not being there and cannot reasonably expect much .
Hope this helps and salute your courage for sharing your dilemma and asking advice.

Amada - posted on 02/10/2013

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Get out of the country or move far away.my ex._went to court to fight custody. just because i asked him that the two daughters needed his last name,they were born out of wedlock.he told the court that i was going to take of with the small daughters ages 3 yrs and 6 years.the court took my babies and gave them to him the court said it was in the child's best interest .well they turned out to be rude,hateful,the oldest sold drugs all they care about is money and man and filth.on top of all the oldest intentiinal tripped the dad and died on the spot..one is 21 yrs and the other is 17 years .the judge made the decision in the best interest of the child because the child is not his..so take off with your child before the court's take your child and gives them to the wrong person.don't think twice

Misty - posted on 02/10/2013

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Don't worry. Talk to a Lawyer- whether it's legal or not no judge is gonna take your child away or put you in Jail... don't know why people want to scare you like that- it's their problem..and the likelihood of a drug addict that is in and out of jail getting his life together enough to take you to court and have a case against you is pretty much non existent.. that is why you've moved on in the first place and are doing whats best for you and your child.... forget the fear mongers!!! ( I've been in a similar situation... child's father in prison and not there for pregnancy or birth or on the birth certificate- and I moved out of the country with the child! we are much much better off and he is still in prison sadly for him.)

Rachael - posted on 02/10/2013

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Hi all. My advice is get legal advice, but in saying that my stepfathers name is on my birth cert. my birth father never signed my BC. When I was 3 my mother remarried & when I was 4 my stepfather signed my birth cert as my father. My mother & stepfather changed my surname to his last name several yrs later. My birth father knew of me but never signed my BC or purchued a relationship with me. It was completely legal for my stepfather to sign my BC as my legal guardian & now adopted father. I also am in a similar position. I did not want my sons father to sign our sons BC as he was no good & I knew it wasn't going to last. He spent the first 9mths being a father to our son. Then went to jail for domestic violence & other things. When he got out I didn't anything to do with him but he wanted to see his birth son. I allowed several visits & then he went back to jail. It was at this point I decided I wasn't doing this, letting him come in & out of my sons life. When he got back out I refused him access visits with my son & told him if he wanted any rights he had to go to court. In the meantime I met & married a great guy. When my son was 2 he asked my husband if he was his dad, my husband told him, he's everything a father is too him so I am your dad. My husband & I went to births deaths & marriages where my husband legally adopted my son & signed to put his name on my sons BC. This is all totally legal. Anyone can be the birth parent, but mum & dad are the ones who raise provide & care for you. It's up too your ex to prove his parental rights & then it's up to the court to provide him with those rights. I find most losers don't follow through there just full of blowing hot air. You have to protect your child foremost.

Rebecca - posted on 02/10/2013

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Unless he wants to pay for all the testing and the court fees, I do not think he has a right. Her father is the one that signed the birth certificate

Laura - posted on 02/09/2013

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You must think of your daughter first and foremost. Some day she will want to know her biological Dad, and if you can have some type of relationship where everyone is happy, that is the best thing you can do. After all, he helped to create the wonderful person who is your daughter!

Betty - posted on 02/07/2013

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If you were married to her father, then yes, he does have contact rights. If you were not married and paternity was not established, then he has no rights till they are adjudicated in court. Another possibility is that, even if there was no marriage or verification of paternity, he can petition the court for a paternity test and if it reveals that he is the father and that he was not told of the adoption, he could then contest the adoption. The good news is, if you can document that he is still an addict, and his jail record, you could make a case that to have contact would not be in the child's best interest. Hope this helps.

Rebecca - posted on 02/07/2013

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call a lawyer or go see one but down here in Madison Indiana he cant do anything if ur husband has adopted the kid the real father cant do anything but the law mite have changed then but my ex husband was married after me and the kids that him and his other ex wife he put his last name on the paper and they didn't even let him get blood test to see if they where his and they have his last name but that don't have nonething to do with that..but awhile back I went to a lawyer to get full custony of my son so his dad could just stay out of his life and they told me if I was with a guy over 5 yrs I could get all the custony but my kids dad is going to jail and im going to get it but u can call a lawyer and see what they say but I don't think the father can do anything though

HEIDI - posted on 02/06/2013

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If your husband adopts her its called a step parent adoption and his name replaces the biological fathers name on the legal birth certificate.

HEIDI - posted on 02/05/2013

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If you adopt a child your name DOES go on the birth certificate! I am adopted and my parents not my birth parents are on my birth certificate. Also my 2nd husband is adopting my daughter from my 1st marriage. His name will replace my x husbands on her BC. I would call vital statistics and ask or legal aid in your area of you can't afford to speak with an attorney. Honestly though unless your x has contacted you the worry may be mute.

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He can take you to court to get visitation rights and its up to the judge to decide whats best for the child.

Rebecca - posted on 02/04/2013

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Actually, if a child is adopted, the names of the adopting parents DO go on the birth certificate, other wise it would not be a legal adoption. I know this is true, as I gave one child up for adoption and the parents names replaced mine and I had my oldest adopted by my first husband and they issued a new BC with my husbands name on it.

How do you think adoptive parents legally change their children's names or keep the adoption from being know if it is a private adoption ? If you don't change the names, then every child that has ever been adopted would have access to their birth parents information and I know of a number of people who have given up their child and don't want to be found if that child should happen upon the news that they are adopted.

In this case Jane, I believe what you did is against the law, as you knew where the father of the baby was at time of birth and all you had to do was have papers served to him asking him to terminate his parental rights. Because you didn't do this, he can take you to court and ask for DNA testing to prove he is the father to your daughter. If proven he is, the court will issue a new BC with him listed as the father. But your daughter might be able to keep your husbands last name if she is old enough to understand the consequences. But the true father will also be allowed all legal rights as her father including visitation (possibly child support) and if he wants to really make it nasty, he could go to court to try and get custody from you.

Avbcvb - posted on 02/04/2013

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Check the laws in your state, however, the child's father is most likely going to be recognized as the man you are married to. If you ex decides to pay for a paternity test and DNA proves otherwise, you will have to involve him. I just hope he can accept the fact that she already has a Daddy and he can be a dad too for the sake of your daughter.

Jodi - posted on 02/03/2013

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This other man has not adopted the child, though, so that isn't legal. Not to mention that if the biological father demands a DNA test, whose name is on the birth certificate is irrelevant.

Danielle Del - posted on 02/02/2013

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Actually birth certificates are not to show who is blood related, they show who has legal responsibility of the child, I am adopted and my adopted parents are on my birth certificate that was issued at my birth. While it is illegal to knowingly put another man on the birth certificate without the biological father terminating his rights, it doesn't mean Jane would necessarily be in trouble, especially if her husband and she were married at the time of the birth. The best advice is to get a really good lawyer, and to do as much research into the laws in your state as you can.

Kath - posted on 02/01/2013

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its very simple pls seek legal advice this way u your new partner will know what is and isnt right

Denise Cataldo - posted on 01/23/2013

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Go get sound legal advice right away. People's opinion are just that. Lots of attorneys have free consultations and its' really important that you know your rights immediately and what your ex's rights are so that you can mount a defense. Best of luck and don't waste time, get an attorney's advice asap.

Lori - posted on 01/18/2013

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my step dad legally adopted me when my bio signed away rights and now his name not my bio is on the BC. just sharing for those who think it's not possible.

Donna - posted on 01/15/2013

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Put the shoe on the other foot, Would you like to come back and find there was a new woman claiming to be the mother of your child? The father even a dead beat father is still the father and he and the child deserve to know each other otherwise later on down the track you will be the liars to the child. It takes 2 to tango and you chose the tango partner.

Holly - posted on 01/15/2013

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@ jennifer this is only true in SOME places.... this is not true everywhere.

Jennifer - posted on 01/15/2013

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If you married the second man BEFORE your child was born, he is legally the father. However, the biological father can demand a paternity test and, if positive, will regain his legal paternity.

If you were not married to the second man before the child was born, he does not have legal paternity. The same applies re: paternity test but the process is easier for him.

You can't just give paternity to someone else. The biological parent has to either a) sign it away, or b) be proven to have been notified and to decline to act. THEN the "new" father has to legally adopt the child.

Putting his name on the birth certificate does nothing much in the eyes of the law to take away paternity from the biological father. You need either a) his consent and then adoption, or b) his failure to respond (despite public notice in the paper etc.) and then adoption.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/14/2013

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How much does the jailbait father know? Is he going to take the time, money, and effort to fight this? And if the husband's name is on the birth certificate, he's her legal father! But, just to be sure, you should ask an attorney!

Marilyn - posted on 01/14/2013

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I think people are missing a couple of important pieces of information here. 1) What office did he go to & 2) Who asked him the questions. As to the point of is it legal or not ONLY a licensed practicing attorney/state's attorney/district attorney can answer that question for you for sure. Laws change all the time & what was illegal/legal last year may not be this year! The best thing to do is contact an attorney for an answer to your original question. Most states have a legal aid society if you cannot afford or find an attorney that will not charge a fee just to answer your question.

Kelly - posted on 01/14/2013

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It is not illegal to sign the birth certificate as the father of the baby if you are not. It does mean that man who signed is claiming responsibility for the child until the age of 18. I work on a Labor & delivery unit in Pennsylvania so I can only speak of our laws. If you are married & your husband is not the father of the baby you must fill out additional paper work to say you are not the father. A husband is assumed the FOB unless otherwise stated. I have many couples that come to have a baby & the man is not the FOB. He can still sign the paternity legally but I don't know what rights the biological father has. Good luck.

Christi - posted on 01/14/2013

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My husband legally adopted my son and a new birth certificate was issued listing him as the father. I can't say whether having your husband sign from the start was illegal; I'm just replying to another poster that said if your husband adopts your child, his name would not be added to the birth certificate.

My situation was very similar to yours. We contemplated having my husband sign the birth certificate as yours did but we decided to go to legal route so the biological father would not be able to come back at a later date. Luckily for us, the biological father willingly signed away his rights. The total process was about $2,500, but the peace of mind that we now have knowing that the biological father can't pop back up at his will is priceless. Good luck to you.

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