What Are A Father’s Rights To Prevent An Abortion?
The case of a New Mexico man who paid for a billboard ad to protest his ex-girlfriend’s decision to have an abortion against his wishes has once again brought up the father’s rights and paternity rights issue of whether a man should have the right to stop a woman from aborting their child.
According to the Associated Press, a billboard in New Mexico shows 35-year-old Greg Fultz holding the outline of an infant. The text reads, “This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!”
Courts have consistently decided that a woman’s right to an abortion can’t be vetoed by a husband, partner or ex-boyfriend, and also that a woman doesn’t have to notify the father that she intends to have an abortion, according to a BBC article.
Women are required to get education before an abortion in at least 17 states, according to Cordell & Cordell divorce lawyer Jill Duffy. In order for the abortion to be performed in some of those states, the woman must give written, informed consent at least 24 hours beforehand. However, that waiting period doesn’t require informing the possible father.
“A woman can legally deprive a man of his right to become a parent or force him to become one against his will,” according to “Mr. Dad” Armin Brott, who is an author, speaker and fathers rights advocate.
While there may not be a legal defense, your best defense to prevent your partner from having an abortion is to educate her about the consequences of abortion, Duffy said.
Abortion is a serious matter that one should make only after becoming fully informed of all of the options and effects.
Duffy said you could try convincing her to continue with her pregnancy through birth and then have her voluntarily terminate her parental rights and giving all rights to the child’s father, which can be legally done in most states.
If she rules against abortion and decides to give birth to the child, you must establish your paternity as soon as possible.
According to the article “How To Establish Paternity” on DadsDivorce.com, you can establish paternity by:
1. Getting on the birth certificate. Once your child is born, the easiest way to establish paternity is by getting your name on the birth certificate.
Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) forms are also available for fathers to sign at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth.
2. Getting an order through an administrative agency. Administrative agencies (such as Child Support Enforcement) can be helpful during the initial stages of your paternity action by assisting you with filling out forms and helping you obtain a DNA test to establish that you are the father of the child.
3. Getting a court order. You must file a Petition for Paternity and Child Custody with your local Circuit Court or Family Court. The court will then order a paternity test or look to see if the father is listed on the birth certificate to determine whether paternity has been established.
You should consult with an attorney who is licensed in your state to discuss your state’s paternity laws. Cordell & Cordell Law Firm has divorce lawyers for men located nationwide who are experienced in handling paternity cases.