I am not on the birth certificate as the father, do I have any paternal rights? 2 Answers as of June 06, 2012

My son's ex-girlfriend had a baby but did not put him on the birth certificate. Does he have any parental rights without being listed on it? He wants to go into the Air Force and would have to give up any parental rights as a single parent. But if he isn't on the birth certificate, would this even be an issue?

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John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Regardless of whether he is listed on the birth certificate or not, an unmarried father has only ONE parental right and that right is to seek specific rights to be established by a Court. Until there is a court order stating what his parental rights are, he really doesn't have anything to "give up" in order to enlist, so there really isn't an issue right now. And, it is important to recall that the Air Force does not and cannot require him to give up all "parental rights". All it expects is that he relinquish any custodial obligations that would interfere with his ability to serve. For example, a court could give him specific "parenting time" , also labeled visitation rights in some states, and that would not disqualify him from enlisting.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/6/2012
Gregory C. Graf
Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
Being listed on the birth certificate is simply an acknowledgement or claim by the mother that a known person is the father. The father's rights and obligations don't change as a result of any information on the birth certificate. If the father wants to exercise parenting responsibility including decision making or parenting time with the child and the mother is blocking his efforts, he must file a Petition for Parenting Responsibility in the District Court where the child resides. As a retired Air Force Officer, I know that your son does not have to give up his parenting rights to join the military. While he will be busy with training that will prevent him from exercising parenting time during boot camp and follow-on technical training, he still has rights and responsibilities. If he does not want to have parenting responsibilities, the child's mother may still seek child support regardless of the birth certificate. The father may either accept or dispute paternity. Giving up his rights will not prevent the mother from seeking support.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/6/2012
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