Father's Rights


#1

I am terribly sorry that you are going through this.
It sounds to me as though the child is not yours. If she did not give the child your last name and refuses to respond to paternity requests, you must make a choice as to whether you want to pursue this matter. What is the attorney suggesting the next step is? Are you willing to take this to court for a ordered paternity test?
I would think you have the choice of pursuing paternity for custody reasons and for child support…


#2

I don’t have much to make me think the child is mine. I have more to make me think it is not. I’ve basically been told that my next step would be to file a custody suit (because I currently have no access to the child), and then proceed with paternity testing.

I’m feeling less & less confident that the child will be mine. My dilemma is this. If I just give up hope that the child is mine, what happens if she one day files for child support? I would of course challenge paternity at that time, but what if it did turn out to be mine? I would of course want custody, but what would happen if I had never had a relationship with the child before that point? I don’t want my child growing up without a father, but I think real father’s should own up.

What would be someone’s motivation for not wanting paternity testing? I just don’t understand.


#3

My only thoughts would be that her motivation for not wanting the paternity test is because she knows the child is not yours. My suggestion is that you make the decision now about whether or not you want to pursue it. If you file for custody you can request the court to order a paternity test. This way you would know now whether or not the child is yours.

If the child is not yours she would not be able to file for child support from you, I don’t believe…
If the child is yours then you have equal right to custody of your child. At least with visitations. It would be difficult for you to get primary custody of a newborn but you could file for joint custody with her being primary until the child is say…3-4 years old and then it could change to equal time…
You are going to have to court order the paternity test to be able to resolve this. This is the only way to avoid the potential problems down the road that you mentioned.


#4

Well, it turns out that my name is on the birth certificate. Although, the child was not given my surname. I searched the statutes, and found the statute pasted below. I certainly did not agree to another surname being given to the child.


#5

If I didn’t agree to another surname, then the father must have been there to agree, right? If not, sounds like a misdemeanor may have been committed.


#6

You are assumed to be the father of this child and have rights as long as you assert them. If you wish to have a relationship with this child you should begin paying support immediately and file an action for custody.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#7

Why would I start paying support when I don’t know this child is mine? Why wouldn’t I file an action for custody first?


#8

Even if the child is not biologically your child your relationship will be protected, but it requires affirmative effort on your part, part of those efforts would be acknowledging and supporting the child.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#9

I called the hospital, and inquired as to why my surname wasn’t given to the child. They informed me that the putative father was there. I don’t know if I even need paternity testing at this point.


#10

You are the presumptive father because you are married to the mother. You must protect yourself in this case whether you want a relationship or not, legally, YOU are the father and all that entails.


#11

I understand that part. However, if she were to ever seek child support, couldn’t I just request paternity testing? I’ve already had two different attorneys send her letters regarding paternity & custody, and she doesn’t respond.


#12

Apparently our rights are null and void until the mother applies for public assistance or needs money. They are right, protect your rights now. I didn’t and I am facing 12 years of back child support for a daughter I have never known and it doesn’t look like I have much of a chance of ever knowing her. She is my child. I want to know her, I want her to know that if I had known, I would have tried to get her and protect her. Now, who knows . . . [:(]

Owned


#13

The fact that the hospital told you that the ‘putative’ father was there actually could be a breach of HIPPA laws, they should not have given any information out. Honestly even though it really looks like you are not the father of this child, you are better off to find out for sure. Your ex has proven that you can’t trust her, who knows what the actual and true paternity is. For the potential relationship with this child, I would file for custody and let the court the order a paternity test. I don’t know if it helps or not, but rather than giving her money right now for child support, set up an account at the bank and deposit ‘child support’ there. We had to do something like that with my STBX when his ex wife before me refused to accept any child support checks that we would mail if I was the one that had signed them. I paid the bills every month, so we never thought about someone being that juvenille. So we started putting the child support checks to the side so that she would file for deliquent support. For us, it saved us from having to take her to court for any stupid reason. Not sure that we could have anyway. When we went into court, we had a check in hand and explained to the judge why we were there. She was ‘scolded’ and then ordered to pay the cost of courts. But I digress here. I would insist on contact with the child and an immediate paternity test. I know that the fear of having contacting and forming a bond and then finding out that the baby isn’t yours, may be a bit daunting, but in the end, it is better than not finding out until the child is much older and you have lost all of this time.

By the way, KUDO’S to you for feeling like you should step up for this child if it is yours. Not everyone (men AND women) feel like that once the concieve children.

Good luck!


#14

Thanks. My attorney has advised me to go forward with the matter anyway. Now, I just have to get the funds.


#15

Just to clarify what the hospital said …
They kept encouraging me to call “the state” to resolve it, and insisted that they all they do is follow the law when it comes to birth certificates. So, I asserted that the law had not been followed because I was not there to agree to a different surname. Then they gave up the information about another man being there. I did not ask them to name the man, and presume they wouldn’t have anyway. They were actually being more evasive about answering than I just described, but I am shortening the story for the sake of the post.


#16

Perhaps they were being vague because it’s your name on the birth certificate which is what is supposed to be the case because you are married. Who knows with them. If a different father is listed, they didn’t fill out the paperwork properly.

I’m glad you’ve sought advice. It would suck to let it slide and be then stuck for 12 years of back support down the line.

I’m sorry you have to deal with all of this!


#17

Yes, I do (now) believe the birth certificate was completed lawfully. I just wanted to hear them say that another putative father was there. I was also trying to make the point that it did not seem as if they carelessly ignored HIPPA.


#18

I wish you the best of luck.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#19

I just called the hospital again, and spoke to the same person. However, this time I kept pressing for information, and wouldn’t get off the phone until I was ready.

They now tell me that there was not another putative father there. They went on to say, “What I said was a falsification.”

WTF!? Why would someone do that!?

I swear I am beginning to smell a conspiracy against fatherhood.
Apparently, father = $, and nothing else.


#20

It’s possible that the person you spoke with originally brought it up to a superior that this type of inquiry had happened and was told what to say. It could also mean that since the hospital did not have your agreement not to use your surname, yet still have you listed on the birth certificate, that they messed up and are covering.
When you say “What I said was a falsification” were you meaning that they admitted to lying to you to begin with or they are accusing you of lying about what you were told the first time that you called?

I suggest getting a recorder on your telephone, if you have not already done so, contact the hospital again and ask to speak to a supervisor. Explain that your name is on the birth certificate, your surname was not used, and you were not present to give your consent to the use of another surname. Quote the statute if necessary and you can even let them know that the call is being recorded. Find out, if possible, if another “father” was there at the delivery.
If you do not get a clear response you can find out if that hospital has a Compliance Officer. This is the person who makes sure that the hospital follows all of the HIPPA regulations. You could also let this person know that you have been given two different stories from the same person. Give them the date and time of each phone call, if you can. It’s possible that it’s just a matter of the person not verifying identification prior to giving any information to you and they got into trouble over it so now they are backtracking their story…find out if you need to subpeonae the information from the hospital since you are the father…
One thing about hospitals…everyone answers to someone else so there’s always someone higher in ranks to go to if you feel you are getting the runaround.