My brother and his girlfriend just had a baby. He is almost 18 and she just turned 17. She is in foster care and lives 4 hours away in a group home. He recently tried to make plans to go see them but her social worker won't allow it and said he needs to go to family court and get permission and such. I don't see why if he is the father and there is no tension. Involved. It's not like she is denying him the right to see the baby. Also maybe some advice as well to getting custody of the baby since she will still be in foster care for another year or what are his rights as the father. Any advice would help. Thanks
1 Answer from Attorneys
Legally he is not the father until a court says he is the father. Since the mother is under age and a ward of the state, so is the baby. So until he establishes paternity in court he has no more right to see the child or anything else than a stranger walking in off the street and asking the social worker to see the baby. He should start the paternity case immediately if he wants to claim paternity. He can start by contacting the Family Law Facilitator in his county of residence. If it is San Bernardino, as the zip code you gave indicates, start here: http://sb-court.org/SelfHelp.aspx#FamilyLawFacilitator He will not be able to exercise parental rights, however, until he is 18. He should also bear in mind that claiming paternity comes with the obligation to support the child as well. So unless he seeks and gains custody, he will face child support payments unless and until he and the mother get married.