I am a US citizen who had a baby abroad, the baby is 18-month now. The baby's biological father was present when the baby was born, but he is not listed on the birth certificate. I am the only parent listed.
The father decided to leave us and went back to California, we have not heard from him since. I am now brining the baby back to California and want to prevent any possible complications regard child custody.
My questions are: 1) since there is no father listed on the birth certificate, if the father suddenly decides to claim paternity, is it true he needs to claim with CA court, and a letter needs to be served personally to me? 2) i've read news where a parent can claim another parent kidnap the kid if the parent brought the kid out of country and did not came back to America in time. Since I had a baby abroad and I am the only parent listed on the birth certificate, is this something I need to worry about?
1 Answer from Attorneys
1. If he is not listed on the birth records or any other legally binding source as the father, the law in California and the rest of the U.S. views him no more as the father than any man on the street. If he wants to assert paternity in court by filing a proceeding to determine parentage in the U.S., he has to file where the child resides for the previous six months. I have no idea what the jurisdiction rule would be if he tried to file in the foreign country before you come to CA or before six months are up. Once you are here six months, though, the law is clear that the U.S. state in which the child resides is where a paternity action would have to be filed. And, yes, he would have to have you personally served with the petition to establish paternity and related court documents. He does not, however, have to serve you with any letter or anything else prior to initially filing the petition.
2. Unless and until he obtains a judgment of paternity, he would have no parental standing to claim kidnapping or anything else.