Portal Login
man with pregnant partner

Learning that your partner is pregnant can be an emotional experience, especially if it’s unexpected. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions, such as frustration, anxiety, or fear, as this news carries significant implications for your future.

If you and your partner are unmarried, you may have specific questions about your legal responsibilities.

Keep reading to understand your rights and what you can expect your legal obligations to be.

Determining Paternity

In North Carolina, the biological mother has sole custody until paternity is established. Establishing your fatherhood is one of the primary factors in establishing your legal responsibility.

If you and your partner acknowledge your paternity, this will be straightforward. Still, if there is any uncertainty, you can pursue legal routes to provide DNA testing that establishes paternity. Once confirmed as the biological father, you will have the same rights and obligations.

Legal Obligations

As parents, your obligations are primarily custody matters and financial support. Once paternity is established, you can also claim custody (primary, joint, or secondary) and visitation rights and will be responsible for child support.

You and your partner can make agreements voluntarily or go through the court system to determine what is best for the child’s well-being.

What’s Next?

Understanding your obligations, as well as coming to terms with your partner’s pregnancy, can be overwhelming.

At Hope First, we offer consultation options for couples with unexpected pregnancies. These can be especially helpful if you and your partner disagree on the best pregnancy option (parenting, adoption, or abortion).

We also offer a fatherhood program where we can help make your transition to fatherhood as smooth as possible.

All our services are free and confidential, and you’ll get the information you need in a non-judgmental environment.

Contact us today!