Becoming pregnant while married to someone else presents an awkward situation. After all, there was obviously cheating involved in the relationship. The spouse might not know about it. Even if the spouse did know, it can be a great blow to know that the baby is not his/hers. It can also become a violent situation if the spouse is vengeful and abusive.
The married woman who is pregnant might not want to tell the spouse about the affair due to regret. The woman might prefer to carry on as normal, but the baby is an ever-present reminder that she is keeping a secret. If the baby does not look like the other spouse or is a different race, then evidence of the cheating will be apparent at birth.
What is the biological father’s right to the child?
The biological father’s rights might become a complicated matter. In some states, the biological father does not get rights to the child. In the 11 other states under the Uniform Parentage Act, the biological father has equal rights to the child.
Since the woman is legally married, her current spouse’s name must go on the birth certificate. The only way around this is a notarized document from the spouse saying that he is not the father and doesn’t want the name on the birth certificate So the husband has to get the appropriate channels completed before the birth of the child. It is for this reason that it is much easier for the woman who is pregnant to get this sorted out before her birth. She can then get the appropriate medical tests performed to determine whose baby this is. That will make it much easier when it comes to sorting out issues such as the birth certificate in those states that do have the UPA.
What legal rights does the husband have to a child that is not biologically his own?
It is a more difficult scenario when the biological father believes it is his child and the mother is not consenting to equal rights. These men are referred to as alleged, presumed, reputed, or putative fathers by the courts. When the father has a relationship with a child after birth, it is easier. The Supreme Court gives constitutional protection in the USA in these cases. In cases such as before birth, it is really up to the courts as to whether they want to grant the biological father rights. This can be especially true in a case where the woman wants to give the baby up for adoption.
How can a biological father establish legal rights to his child if the mother is married to another man?
In the States, there is not even a standard definition of the word father. In 25 states, a man can register himself as the probable biological father of the baby in a putative father registry. In other 19 States, Columbia, and the Virgin Islands, a man can register as the possible father through a series of forms provided by social services.
All in all, it is a complicated situation. There are a variety of factors involved. However, if the possible biological father is proactive, then there is a lot that can be done to make a legal record of the mother refuse of paternity.