Under California law, all parents MUST care for their children:
- emotionally, and
For the mother, parental duties begin when the baby is born. For the father, parental duties start when the law recognizes him as the legal father.
Even if a parent does not want to be involved, she or he is still responsible for financially supporting the child. Both parents must support the child financially, no matter where the child lives.
If the other parent does not want to help support the child, you can ask the court to make orders for your child, including:
- child support,
- custody, and
Once the law recognizes who the parents are, they have the right to be with and care for their child and make decisions about the child’s life, such as education, health care, religion, and where to live.