HELP: My legal rights as the mother?

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      Hey all,
      I’m in desperate search of legal resources outlining my rights as a single mother-to-be. My ex-boyfriend is a slacker with supposed "good intentions," thinking he’s going to be a productive part of this child’s life after it’s born. He’s often emotionally unstable and sometimes I think he borders on psychotic. He’s a good liar, to the point that he actually believes his lies himself most of the time, which is why I thought he was a good guy in the first place. None of this behavior is documented as far as I’m aware, aside from his past academic troubles, though we have plenty of friends in common who have said they would be willing to vouch for me in court, should it come down to that.

      Are there any websites out there outlining maternal rights in specific states? I heard through a friend of a friend that my rights vary from state to state, even possibly depending on the state in which the child was conceived. It just ticks me off that the only right I seem to have over the wellbeing of this baby is whether or not to kill it while it’s in my womb. And all the ex has to do is sit around for nine months, waiting for me to pop it out–which really is all he’s doing. He even owes me a sum of money well over $1000 (I have it in writing), and he’s only paid about $100 of it so far. And he thinks he’d be able to pay child support.

      I’m wondering about things like:

      * Legally speaking, do I have to put his name on the birth certificate? I mean, technically speaking, I could have been with other guys around the time of conception without his knowledge, right?
      * Am I allowed to keep him out of the hospital when I deliver if he somehow finds out where I’m delivering?
      * Until he establishes paternity, him coming to my house would be considered stalking, right (especially since I just moved and he’s never been to this house, though he knows where it is)? To that extent, can I get a restraining order against him if he hasn’t ever injured me physically (not that I don’t suspect he’s capable of it)?
      * If he doesn’t contact me during the pregnancy for a span of a few weeks, or even months, will I be able to use that against him in court? He’s been pretty bad about keeping in contact, and I’ve been civil to him so he has no excuse, really.
      * If I can establish that I’m the more stable parent, and all I can establish about him is that he’s not economically stable, is there still a chance that I could get FULL custody in court (I’m talking he only gets 3 days a year or something like that). I don’t want my child to grow up mimicking my ex’s laziness and carelessness.

      Thanks for your help, all.


        hun you dont have to have his name on the birth certificate if you dont want it on there….if u dont think hes stable enough to care for a child and you fear he will hurt you or your child then dont put his name on the birth certificate your the mother the womb the childs whole being and you dont have to do anything that doesnt feel comfortable you…my fiancee and i have been together for 3 yrs have 2 children together if for some reason i didnt want his name on the birth certificate and wanted the kids to have my last name theres nothing he could have done about it…but of course i love my fiancee w my whole heart and would never do that….he has no say so in what happens w the baby unless u want him to…i hope i helped!!

        Kandi mommy of 2 beautiful babies


          Here are my quick thoughts on what you asked, but I recommend looking in your local phone book under government and the subtitle legal aid. If you don’t see a direct number for it, any government office you call could probably direct you to the right place. There are also attorneys who use a sliding scale for payment and/or do pro bono (free) services in some cases.

          As for your questions:
          I don’t believe you HAVE to put any father’s name on the certificate.
          Yes, it’s your right to exclude anyone from the delivery room.
          It is considered stalking if you’ve told him to stay away and he won’t, especially if you get a restraining order, which might be a good idea in later establishing his instability should he break the order.
          If you state that he’s not supported you financially and/or emotionally during the pregnancy, that does help you. Also, if there is no name on the birth certificate, it will make him either have to back off or demand a paternity test, which he’ll have to go to court to MAKE you have. Should that occur and his paternity is proven, it’s highly unlikely they’d give him any sort of custody if he’s not been there throughout the pregnancy and if he stalks you. These are definitely not considered supportive visits if he’s being harassing to you. If his paternity is established and he doesn’t pay child support, he has no visitation rights in most cases. It would then be unlikely he’d take you to court again because he’d look like a deadbeat dad and he’d know it.


            hun u DO NOT have to put him on the birth certificate, it’s ur choice…and u have the right to NOT allow anyone u choose in the hospital when ur having the baby…and if u can tell the judge a very reasonalbe valid reason for wanting a restaining order against him then u can get one, besides it’s stalking u if u have moved and u do not invite him to come over and he does it more than once and u ask him not to…also all u have to do in court for custody is to prove beyond a reasonalbe doubt that u r the more stable parent then u will get cutsody of the baby (include the fact he still owes u a large sum of money)….
            i hoped i helped….


              I wanted to add a couple of things fyi. It’s a crime to purposefully put anyone else’s name on the birth certificate knowing they aren’t the dad. This is considered fraud, so don’t do that if anyone suggested it to you. It could cause many problems later for you. And I probably shouldn’t mention this in light of what I just said, but I HEARD if you put unknown on the *father* part of paperwork (pending a paternity test for proof, so technically isn’t lying), it can help you with benefits. Your alternative would be that the government would order him to pay you a portion, and he likely wouldn’t bother following up. I’m saying this in the event you find yourself in the position to need benefits.

              I also wanted to mention that in many cases of young men, they talk a lot of smack, but when it comes down to paying the child support, going to court, or doing a paternity test, most of them drop the whole matter. They want the recognition of being the "baby daddy" if they’re obsessive about the girl, but they don’t really want any responsibility. Hopefully, he’ll move on if you feel he’s a threat to your baby and/or a sorry potential father.


                I put "unknown" on my son’s birth certificate and his biological father never pursued it past that. My son’s father was unstable and has never seen him. What is your child’s father’s motive for this? If he honestly wants to be involved just think long and hard about why you don’t want him involved. Someday you will have to answer your child’s questions. I feel like I am making the best choice for my little boy, myself and his father by leaving him out of it and not pursuing any sort of help financially from him. I don’t have any strings attached to a man that I know would not have a consistent presence in my son’s life. I also have met someone new and married and this choice has help my son and husband to bond completely. Let me know if you ever want to chat because I have been there and I would also be happy to help you research any other questions that you might have. You are a strong mama, don’t forget that. Always put your baby’s best interest first and you can’t go wrong.


                  You don’t have to put his name on the birth certificate. How ever if you do have to persue child support in court and he is not listed as the father, you’ll have to wait for a paternity test.

                  You are not required to have him the room when you are delivering. You don’t have to have any one there. it’s PATIENTS rights – not family rights.

                  You can get a no contact order just based off of the fact that your concerned that he’s mentally unstable and he may attempt to hurt you. There doesn’t have to be any substantiation beyond that.

                  If you don’t list him as the father on the BC, if he were to take the child or anything it would be considered kidnapping. if he wanted the child, he would need to fight for custody and first get a paternity test. He would have to prove that you are unfit – not that he is better. He has no rights if his name is not listed unless the court grants them. That may be your best bet.

                  Good Luck!

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