Does a Man Have Parental Rights to a Child That Isn’t His But Who He’s Cared For Since Birth?

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‘My son dated a girl that was already 4 months pregnant. The biological father had moved away knowing she was pregnant and never contacted her again. My son was there for the birth and although at that time there were no plans of marriage, my son decided he wanted to take on the role of being that baby’s father. So, the mother and my son both decided and agreed for him to sign the birth certificate. (He willingly chose to do so and we were shocked he did so as he did not discuss it with us. They are both in their 20’s.) When she was discharged from the hospital they immediately moved in together and had been living together ever since. He did propose to her a year later, but a month ago she broke up with him and he moved out. She allows him to continue to see the baby, who is now 2 years old. I am wondering if he actually has any parental rights or if she can get child support from him or where he stands now in the current situation with this child, whom we think the world of. We live in Indiana.’

Even though he is on the birth certificate, your son can request a paternity test, and in most states would not have an obligation to that child assuming the paternity test comes back negative. As it stands, it seems as though your son and the baby’s mother have a mutual understanding about his/your relationship with the child, which can only be beneficial to that toddler.