I came across a question posted by a pregnant woman. The baby she is carrying will be a daughter. She asked, “Is it unethical to leave a potentially dangerous father off of a newborn’s birth certificate ?”
The immediate response was honest – Every person has a right to know their true identity. In fact, among adoptees this is a significant and primary issue.
Someone suggested the expectant mother put him on the birth certificate but terminate his rights. This expectant mother offered – He’s never done anything to me so far except be an asshole but he has a felony charge that is relevant to the situation. I spoke to a lawyer and he said he’d give it a 50/50 chance that a judge would allow termination of rights without a stepfather around to adopt. And the father would have to willingly be there and declare he wants to terminate rights.
Doesn’t seem fair but this is the reality we as women often have to cope with.
Then came this caution – The reality is, if he’s on the birth certificate and you file for public assistance, he’ll be charged child support. That system is crappy and may share your address. Don’t let people pressure you into any move with your abuser you’re not comfortable with.
Someone offered what seems to be a rational alternative – She can always establish paternity later. All she has to do is file for child support and give his name and the state will take care of finding him and doing paternity test. You can’t take him off birth certificate once he’s on but you can establish paternity and get child support without him on birth certificate.
And I do believe this is an important consideration – Not putting his name on the birth certificate makes it harder for him to just take her. That would be proof that the child is indeed his daughter and does have legal rights, unless you go through the court to have it documented in the way you wish. Not putting his name he would have to go through court for paternity and visitation.
It does appear that the father is aware. In fact, the expectant mother says he wants to co-parent and she wants only full custody and that any visitation be supervised.
My sympathy and compassion go to the expectant mother wanting to protect her daughter. She says she does intend for her child to know ALL of her family. At this time, this is not an adoption issue but it is a family separation issue.