Contrary to popular belief, fathers do have rights to protect and care for their unborn children. It seems counterintuitive because the child has not yet been born. But, these protections provide specific safeguards for the child if the mother does not take the child's health or safety seriously. This article will review how this situation may apply to you and your rights as a father.
Unborn children are totally dependent upon their mothers for sustenance and care. The child gets all of its nutrients from the food that the mother ingests. Unfortunately, this also means that if the mother smokes, drinks or takes drugs while pregnant, those substances also find their way to the fetus. Some of these substances can even result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other issues that affect the development of the child.
If this happens to your child, then you can seek action under your state's welfare protection laws. These laws protect children from being harmed by the actions of their parents. You can also present evidence of this harm to the family court during a custody dispute. The court determines child custody arrangements based what is in the best interest of the child, so if your child was injured by his or her mother in utero, then you may have a claim for greater custody.
If the child is severely harmed, the mother may even face criminal prosecution. Fathers may press charges against the mother for injuries sustained by the child.
If you are engaged in a custody dispute over your unborn child, then you may want to contact an attorney. As discussed above, children can be severely harmed by their mother's decisions during prenatal development. An attorney can help you get your documents and court papers ready very quickly. A lawyer will understand the process and how to get everything done as quickly as possible. You have multiple options to enforce your parental rights and protect your child. However, the quicker you move, the better.