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The Father’s Right Before Birth


In today’s society, many marriages ultimately end in divorce. With such a high chance of being separated, fathers are becoming more knowledgeable of their rights. However, what many dads may not know are the rights they have before the child’s birth. This little discussed topic is slowly gaining traction as an increasing number of children are born out of wedlock. Raising a child separate from your partner in Florida can present numerous issues and it is important that fathers know their rights. Regardless of the questions fathers may have, it is always best to speak with an experienced Florida family law attorney. Your attorney will be able to address any concern you may have and ensure you are acting within the law.

Fathers’ Rights with an Unborn Child

Once a man finds out his partner is expecting they may begin to wonder what rights they have. Some of the important things that any father-to-be needs to remember to include the following:

  1. The mother has the vast majority of rights when she is carrying the child;
  2. Pregnancy is considered a medical condition in Florida, therefore, the mother does not have to provide any details regarding the pregnancy to the father;
  3. The mother’s doctor is forbidden by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) from providing any information about the mother’s pregnancy or the unborn child.

Rights Regarding Adoption 

The father is fairly limited when the mother chooses she wants to give the child up for adoption. However, if the father is married to the mother or he is able to establish legal paternity right after the child is born he may have the opportunity to stop the adoption. In Florida, a mother cannot consent to an adoption prior to the birth of the child.

Fathers’ Rights Regarding Abortion

In Florida, mothers do not have the legal obligation to notify the father nor do they have to obtain the father’s consent to do so. The father has very few options should the mother decide to abort the unborn child. One possibility is for the father to meet with a family law attorney who can draft documentation absolving the mother of all parental responsibility and financial responsibility in exchange for the father taking care of the mother’s medical expenses and receiving full custody of the child. However, it will ultimately be up to the mother to choose whether or not to terminate the pregnancy.

Fathers’ Rights When the Mother Engages in Destructive Behavior 

If the father is aware that the expecting mother is engaging in alcohol and drug abuse while carrying the child this may be considered child abuse and neglect. The father can notify child services and potentially press charges against the mother. The father can also use this as an opportunity to seek full custody after the child is born.

Do You Need Help?

At the office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, we are committed to providing both mothers and fathers with the best legal guidance during paternity proceedings. We understand what you are going through and are prepared to advocate on your behalf as you seek the custody you desire. Time is not on your side during custody proceedings, call our office today at 954-945-7591 for a free consultation.

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