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Pregnancy, unmarried fathers and their rights

Fathers have some unique challenges when it comes to dealing with a woman who is pregnant with his child. Almost everyone is familiar with the emotional woman who demands ice cream and pickles in the middle of the night, but that isn't the drama that a man might have to deal with if he isn't in a relationship with the pregnant woman any longer.

A man who isn't married to the woman carrying his child might be shocked to know that men have very little say about what happens to the baby while the woman is pregnant. Because the unborn child lives within the mother, the mother's wishes are almost always followed when it comes to medical care.

Interestingly, the father's willingness to help pay for medical care during the pregnancy can have a big impact on his claim to paternity later. But, just because he is paying for the prenatal care doesn't mean that he has any actual rights. Because of privacy laws regarding health information, he might not even be able to view test results without the woman's permission.

Just because you and the mother of your unborn child aren't together any longer doesn't mean that you don't have the ability to protect your unborn child. If you think that your ex is engaging in behaviors that could put your child at risk, you can opt to seek out legal help to determine if you have any options to address that behavior. Make sure that you present accurate information and keep an open mind about ways to resolve the situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Fathers' Rights Before Birth," accessed Sep. 02, 2016

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