Preserve your fathers' rights as early as possible

Unfortunately, the subject of unmarried fathers' rights is still vague and undefined across many American states. Even New York City, which is known for its modern outlook on controversial topics, does not have an appropriate definition for a "father." All too often, a man learns his girlfriend or significant other is pregnant and then before he knows it, his rights as a dad are already in danger.

One danger unmarried dads can face is losing their child to adoption. It often comes out of nowhere and takes these fathers by complete surprise. Without a marriage certificate, the baby could be signed over to strangers leaving the father bereft and wondering how it happened. All expecting dads should understand this and take steps from the moment they learn about the pregnancy to protect their rights. A few ways to get started include:

-- Support the mother of the baby emotionally and financially. If possible, document the support you provide by dating receipts and keeping records of cashed checks.

-- If marriage is an option, it is a good time to do so. If not, establish your paternity as soon as possible.

-- Consider setting up a special bank account to use for providing financial support to the mother and the baby.

-- Be as involved as possible with the pregnancy by attending doctor appointments or shopping for baby items. Be sure to document your activity.

-- If the subject of adoption comes up, consider hiring a family law attorney right away.

-- Avoid signing any legal documents without your lawyer's supervision.

The steps you take early in the pregnancy and in the baby's life can become a vital tool in protecting your fathers' rights. We urge you to contact the Philip A. Greenberg law office in New York City if you need legal assistance preserving your rights as a father. You can also learn more by reviewing our website.

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Attorney Philip A. Greenberg represents clients in New York and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call 646-363-6807 or contact him by email. He can meet with you in his Manhattan office or in a location convenient to you.

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