If your partner is pregnant but you aren’t married, you may be wondering if you’re legally responsible for the baby. The answer is yes, but there are certain issues to consider.

This article will highlight the different components that go into the legal rights and responsibilities of the father. If you’re looking for a safe space to talk about fatherhood, or you and your partner still need to verify the pregnancy via ultrasound, contact Alpha Center today to schedule a no-cost, confidential appointment. 

What Does The Birth Certificate Have To Do With It?

Once the baby is born, you will have the option of putting your name on the birth certificate. By doing so, you will be entitled to the following parental rights

  • Discussing custody and visitation with a court order if necessary
  • Being an important part of the child’s daily life with regular contact
  • Having a say in the decisions regarding the child’s education and religious upbringing
  • Having a say regarding adoption proceedings
  • Passing property to the child via gift or inheritance
  • Inheriting the child’s earnings and property in case of death

Putting your name on the birth certificate is your acknowledgment that you are the father of the child and it will also make you responsible for the following:

  • Supporting the child financially (usually, until they reach 18 years of age)
  • Meeting the child’s basic needs for food, clothing, housing, medical care and education
  • Serving the child’s emotional needs
  • Providing a safe environment for the child and protecting them from abuse

What If I Don’t Want To Be Listed On The Birth Certificate?

If you don’t want to be listed on the birth certificate because you don’t want to be financially or legally responsible for the child, your partner can obtain a court order requiring you to take a paternity test. If this happens and you are deemed the biological father, you will be required to financially support the child. 

You’re Not Alone

Facing an unexpected pregnancy can feel overwhelming for you and your partner, but you aren’t alone.
At Alpha Center, we’re here to support you as you navigate your options. We provide a safe, welcoming space for you both to ask questions and receive essential support at no cost to you. 
Contact us today to learn about all the ways we’re here to help.

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