Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns. To best answer, I will point out both 'legal' rights and 'practical' rights if you choose to pursue this further. I realize this is a difficult topic so if you need further clarification, please use the 'reply' button and I will be happy to clarify.From purely a legal standpoint, if you are not yet on the birth certificate and you did not yet claim the child as yours, you have absolutely no rights to the child. Being placed on the birth certificate grants you rights which, if it has not yet taken place, then requires you go through a DNA paternity test first.If you are on the birth certificate, then 'legally' your rights to the child are exactly the same as the mother's. Both of you share co-equal rights, both can make legal decisions pertaining to care or medical needs, both can provide maintenance, and both can travel with the child within the US. It also means that either of you can legally withhold access to the other because since rights are co-equal, the other party does not have enough right to overrule and overpower that decision.So from a practical standpoint, the parent who has custody has the rights. That parent can legally withhold all access until and if a court order is in place that grants the other parent some or greater rights to the child. Until and if there is a court order that requires the parent to provide access, custody, or visitation to the other parent, the first parent can simply refuse all contact.Good luck.