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I found out I was pregnant after I left. Do I have to tell him?

December 31, 2016 Blog

In recent years, the rights of fathers have become more well known to the court systems. Fathers even have a say regarding a possible abortion of their unborn child. With the legal system shifting toward recognizing both parents, there are legal ramifications that must be considered. If you are pregnant and are no longer with the partner, you have an obligation to let them know.

Fathers Have Rights Too

First, there is no law that stipulates that a woman must tell a man she is pregnant. So, legally it is not wrong. However, morally, it is a huge issue. Remember, things done in secret will almost always come back to haunt you. If the father hears about the pregnancy through the grapevine, he can file legal paperwork against you. He has rights to his child. All it takes is a DNA test to prove so.

You Cannot Hide The Father Forever

The state has many ways to track down the father. For instance, if a mother tries to get assistance through Medicaid or WIC, they will always ask for the father to be named. If the mother does not go after the father, these agencies will try to in an effort to recoup funds. A father should be paying for his child. There are now many father advocacy groups that are fighting for the fathers to have a bigger say in their children’s lives. In many instances, the father is becoming the sole provider. They step in and up when a mother is unable to fulfill her job.

Documents Signed At Birth

When you go into the hospital to have the child, you will be asked to sign off on the birth certificate. You have a couple choices of what you can list on this document. First, if you are married to one man and pregnant with another, you can list the husband as the father of the child. Many hospitals just assume as such. Now, the only way another man can challenge this is if they request DNA testing to prove they are the father. Unfortunately, if a woman is married to a man and has an affair with another, most people will assume the child is her husband’s and not question it any further. The husband can claim rights to the child and raise it as his own, just as long as no one questions it.

Repercussions Of Such A Decision

As legal counsel, we have seen numerous cases where women have tried to hide such things. It almost always comes back to haunt them. The father who was cut out of the child’s life can request joint custody and perhaps even legal custody. Of course, providing the mother unfit is an uphill battle, but stranger things have happened. Fathers often feel jilted when they have been cut from their child’s life. They want that companionship, and they have just as many rights as the mom.

Another thing to consider is that one day the child will find out. There have been many times that children find out on their own about their parents’ infidelity. They can connect the dots and question things. It may put a strain on the mother-child relationship to know that their mother lied to them and their birth father.

The Child Has Rights

Each state has laws regarding paternity and such. However, things are changing every day. All it takes is one angry father with a game plan to make things difficult for the mother. Many women use a pregnancy as a final act to get back at the man who they are no longer with. Please remember that a child has a right to know both their parents. No matter what went wrong in the relationship, the child still has the ultimate right. If the father is unfit, it is up to the court to make that decision.



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