Assigning legal rights for unwed parents is always more complicated than many people appreciate. Unfortunately, it is even more complicated for unwed fathers. The courts are able to identify the birth mother because her name is automatically included on the birth certificate, whereas the father is merely whoever the mother identifies. This post will go over the general rights conferred by the law onto unwed fathers.
The statutory definition of the father in most states is ascertained in the following order. First, men who are listed on the child's birth certificate. Second, the man who is living with the mother and child and presents himself as the parent. Third, the man that the court has determined, through a paternity test, is the father. Finally, the man who is referenced in an affidavit by the mother as the parent.
But, any father who is fighting for paternity, can establish fathers' rights if he can establish through sufficient evidence that he has provided parental services to the child. The right of paternity (right of fathers to raise their children) matters less with biology than it does with how they treat their children after they are born.
If you are trying to gain parental rights over your children, then you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance. Prosecuting a paternity action is very dependent on evidence. A lawyer can assist you in investigating and bolstering arguments in your favor. You don't need to figure out the legal issues on your own; a lawyer can help you.