If your friend, girlfriend, or wife might be pregnant, she needs your support now more than ever. Pregnancy is a life-changing experience for all involved, no matter the final decision for the pregnancy. You need to be informed about your options and rights as the baby's biological father.
Just because you are the biological father, does not mean you are the legal father. And neither of these things gives you rights to see your child.
It is important for you to know that an unmarried mother has sole physical and legal custody until the court says otherwise. If you would like to stay in your baby's life, you need to take the right action:
If both parents sign a Recognition of Parentage, a legally binding document, legal paternity can be established (upon request or at birth).
If you would like rights to see your child, you need to appeal to the court. Being a legal father does not give you automatic rights.
Advantages of signing the Recognition of Parentage document:
Helps you to stay involved in the child's life.
Gives you the right to ask the court for visitation with your child.
Allows you to put your child on medical insurance.
Gives you the right to be notified of any adoption proceedings.
Allows your name to be on your child's birth record.
Taking the steps to become actively involved in your child's life involves not only rights, but responsibilities. You may be required to pay child support and may be bound to scheduled parenting times.
For more information, go to this site: www.dhs.state.mn.us