Alleged Fathers v Presumed Fathers
What’s the difference between alleged fathers and presumed fathers?
An alleged father is a man who is not married to the birth mother, and his name does not appear on the birth certificate.
An alleged father is someone the birth mother identifies as a possible father of the baby. They are not married. The don’t live together. He is typically the birth mother’s one-night stand, or estranged boyfriend.
Least Amount of Rights in Adoption and Dependency Cases
Typically, alleged fathers have the least amount of legal rights in family law.
In stepparent adoption cases, their consent is not necessary. They only need to be notified.
Alleged fathers also have very few rights in dependency cases. An alleged father has the right to notice of the dependency hearings and the right to prove they are a presumed parent. However, they do not have the right to custody or reunification services. Their relatives will not be given special consideration for placement of the child.
In California, a “presumed parent” has all the legal rights and responsibilities that come with raising a child — whether they are the child’s biological father or not. A father can legally qualify as a presumed parent if:
- He was married to the child’s mother when the child was conceived or born;
- He attempted to marry the child’s mother (even if the marriage wasn’t valid) and the child was conceived or born during the “marriage”
- His name appears on the child’s birth certificate
- He acted as if the child was his own and raised the child accordingly (parentage by estoppel)
If Parties Are NOT Married When Baby is Born
If the parties were not married when the child was born, or parentage is not presumed by estoppel, paternity can be established by DNA testing or by signing a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage.
There are 9 main reasons why you should establish paternity: read Why Should I Establish Paternity?
Learn more about alleged, biological and presumed fathers here: read California Paternity Cases: Who’s Your Daddy?
The rights of alleged father and presumed fathers differ – consult an attorney.