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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default What Custody Rights Doea a Father Gain by Establishing Paternity

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: New York

    If two seventeen olds have a child and the mother puts the fathers name on the birth certificate, can he walk away with the baby?

    They are still dating, not married and in love. I fear he would use the child has a pawn if he gets angry. Just can't find answers or talk my daughter out of putting him on the birth certificate before paternity is established and custody and visitation done.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Birth Mother Have Custody

    You're right to be concerned.

    There are two ways he can be established as the legal father - they can both sign the AOP (affidavit of paternity) at the hospital (or shortly thereafter), or she or he can petition the court for a DNA paternity test as part of a paternity action.

    I strongly suggest the latter, not the former.

    Establishing paternity (in NY) does not give an unwed father equal rights to the child; it simply gives him the right to file for custody/visitation/child support etc.

    The practical answer though, is that if his name IS on the birth certificate and there are no court orders and he does walk off with the baby..the police aren't likely to get involved. He's the father, they'll tell your daughter it's a civil matter and then she'll have to go to court.

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