The birth of a child is one of life’s greatest joys, but can also
be a time of stress for many people. If the parents are unmarried, in
the middle of a heated family law matter, or the mother simply does not
want the father around; complicated legal issues can arise. It may seem
common sense that a father is allowed to be present at his own child’s
birth, but the issue is not that straightforward.
Is an Unwed Father Allowed in the Birthing Room?
In New Jersey, there is
legal precedent for the mother to disallow the birth father to be in the actual birthing
room when the baby arrives. While there are more than just these two persons
allowed to be present, the law gives the mom the right to deny the father
access but to permit others such as her mother or father to be in the
room. The case law on this topic seems contrary to fair play, and there
are groups that advocate for father’s rights that claim this rule
is discriminatory. If this is in fact discrimination, why is a rule like
this one even on the books?
To understand why this law exists, one need only look at the rationale
behind the ruling. The Court agreed that a father’s involvement
in his child’s life is vital, but that until the child is actually
born the main focus is on the health and welfare of the mother. So, in
cases where the parties are at odds, it is possible for a birth mom to
keep a birth dad out of the delivery room. The game changes though once
the baby takes his or her first breath. After the birth, the focus shifts
to the child and what is in the best interests of the newborn baby.
Questions? Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help!
If you have questions about child custody, who can be present at birth,
what names are put on a birth certificate, and what rights and obligations
all of these things confer upon a parent, call Moskowitz Law Group, LLC.
We can help you to sort out your child custody and related issues and
will work for results that meet your needs while protecting the rights
of your children.
Fill out our secure
online consultation form and we will be in touch with you soon.