Fathers’ rights regarding unborn babies vary greatly
We have often discussed fathers' rights and how they pertain to children who are already born. Some of our readers might be wondering what rights fathers have if the baby hasn't yet been born. The answer to that isn't all that simple.
Generally, while the woman is pregnant, her wishes are followed. It would usually be up to her to decide if the father of the baby can participate in prenatal care and appointments. If there is a disagreement between the mother and father, the mother's choice is usually the one that is respected.
The problems that some men come across when the baby hasn't been born are that the mother's body is her own body and that her privacy must be respected. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act forbids health care providers from giving an unborn baby's father information about the mother's health. This means that the baby's father is usually limited to knowing only what the baby's mother wishes to share.
There might be some exceptions to these guidelines that apply to a father's case. If the mother is on drugs or alcohol, for example, there might be actions the father can take to protect the unborn baby. Speaking to someone who is familiar with the laws regarding fathers' rights with unborn babies might help you determine if you can take action.
In all cases, the father has the right to refuse to put a baby up for adoption since the law states that the mother and father both have to consent to an adoption for the adoption to occur. This means that fathers of unborn babies don't have to worry about the mother giving birth and giving the child up without his consent.
Source: FindLaw, "Fathers' Rights Before Birth," accessed June 12, 2015
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