When a married woman in Pennsylvania becomes pregnant, there is a legal presumption that her husband is the father of that child. Men that are not married to the woman carrying their child do not receive the same consideration. A man who believes he is the father of a child could find himself involved in a child custody battle if the mother denies his paternity.
A west coast man is currently fighting such a battle. The mother of a child the man claims is his gave the child up for adoption. The man is fighting the adoption, saying the mother failed to seek his consent. He wants custody of the boy.
The California man was involved with the mother of the child, though the relationship reportedly ended during the woman’s pregnancy. This did not stop the man from working more than one job in order to provide the woman with a place to live, money and other support during her pregnancy. He planned to continue this support after the birth of their child. In California, in the absence of DNA testing, a man can establish that he is alleged father of the child of an unmarried woman by providing such financial support to the mother during her pregnancy. However, the mother denies he provided such support and put the child up for adoption without the consent of the alleged father, which she says she was not legally obligated to obtain.
When it comes to child custody, many unmarried men in Pennsylvania mistakenly believe they have no rights. That may not be the case. Establishing paternity is a necessary step that married fathers are not required to take, but doing so may be the first step for an unmarried father. Once paternity is established, an unmarried father may seek custody of the child. In appropriate circumstances, an adoption arranged without proper consent may be blocked.
Source: opposingviews.com, Young Father Fighting For Custody Of Child He Was Never Given Chance To Raise, Jonathan Wolfe, Dec. 9, 2013