I got an illegal immigrant pregnant. She will probably get married to someone else soon. Should I be involved?

I was in a dead end relationship with a girl. It was bad pretty much from the beginning. She broke up with me right after she found out she was pregnant but it was clear to both of us that this was inevitable. She was on birth control and it was dumb to let it go on as long as it did but that's in... Show More

Most Helpful Guy

  • It depends how far into the pregnancy she is.

    If she's still in the first trimester, you could move for injunctive relief. You could move to compel her to undergo an abortion, or in the alternative, give you the right (after the birth of the child) to adopt the child out without her consent, or in the alternative, have both her and the child be estopped from seeking financial support from you or any government entity (because then the government will seek indemnity or contribution from you). The last catch-all alternative will have the effect of getting her to seriously consider abortion if she's still in the first trimester, consider adopting the child out if she cannot afford supporting the child on her own, or mustering up financial support from her family or other men in her life to support her dreams of being a mommy and having a baby.

    If she's late into her pregnancy, you're SOoL (sh*t out of luck). The only thing you can do now is absolutely not get involved with her or her child whatsoever. In fact, make every effort to introduce her to new guys, and even try to encourage those guys to get involved with her child. That way, her and her child can be estopped from trying to go after you as the biological father. It's called paternity by estoppel (or paternal estoppel). If it looks like the father, if it acts like the father, if the child calls it dad, if it calls the child son or daughter, then as far as the law cares, it's the father. Paternal estoppel is so powerful the father by estoppel can actually legally prevent the biological father from having access to the child. The sword, however, cuts both ways. If the mother or child attempt to go after the biological father for financial support, the biological father can simply point to the father by estoppel.

    Custody and support go hand-in-hand. If you cut off the "right" to custody, then you necessarily cut off the "obligation" of support. So, for as long as paternity was established, and it was first established by estoppel, the biological father has neither a "right" to custody over the child, nor an "obligation" to support the child. The father by estoppel can literally exclude the biological father from even visiting or associating with his biological child. The child, mother, and father by estoppel, however, cannot go after the biological father for child support. That's the double-edged sword that is paternity by estoppel.

    So, start helping her sign up for an eharmony and match.com account lol

    • Also, beware of self-serving emotional blackmail such as, "it's your child too!" No, it's not. You didn't want a child, only she did. If it was up to you, you would have taken a morning after pill, or had an abortion, or ran off to a different state and adopted out without her consent. She used your sperm, without your consent, to have a child. The choice to continue that pregnancy or not adopt out was solely hers. You had no involvement in the continued development of life.

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    • You don't need to sign anything or formally adopt-out or take part in any kind of legal proceeding in order for your parental rights (and liabilities) to be stripped from you. Paternal estoppel is automatic; it's just a function of time and degree of interaction between the child and the non-biological "father." As soon as the non-biological father is equitably estopped from denying paternity, you have LOST any and all parental rights and obligations related to your biological child.

    • Think of paternity like an empty pair of shoes the courts are trying to force someone to wear. Unless the biological father is identified, nobody is wearing the paternity shoes. If the non-biological man acts like the father of a child, then paternal estoppel applies. That means, the non-biological man has stepped into the paternity shoes. Yet, it's not until someone requests or contests paternity that the courts get involved to merely "identify who" is wearing those paternity shoes.