If a woman becomes pregnant, is there a paternity law that requires her to inform the child’s biological father?
I suspect my ex-girlfriend is pregnant with my child, and I would like to reach a child custody agreement with her.
But she has never confirmed her pregnancy and is now moving away so I want to know if she’s legally obligated to inform me.
I am not licensed in your state so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though.
I am not aware of a paternity law in any state that would impose a legal duty on a pregnant woman to inform the would-be biological father of the child of her pregnancy.
Moreover, I am not aware of any laws that would require a mother, after she has actually given birth to a child, to inform the biological father of the birth of the child.
In Missouri (where I practice) the Department of Health maintains a Putative Father Registry which allows a man to claim he is the father of a child. This does not legally establish that he is the father of the child, but a man may want to file this claim before paternity is legally established if the man is not able to find the mother or if the mother does not want to establish paternity.
The protection of the Putative Father Registry is applicable for adoption purposes. In adoption proceedings, if the man is registered with the Putative Father Registry, the information is used to inform him of the adoption proceedings.
The father must register with the Putative Father Registry before the child’s birth or within 15 days of the child’s birth in order to be notified of adoption proceedings.
Otherwise, he may waive his rights to withhold his consent to the adoption.
Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. I urge you to contact one as I do not know all the details of your case and thus cannot provide you with specific advice on divorce.