Under California law, all parents MUST care for their children:

  • physically,
  • emotionally, and
  • financially.

 

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
  • visitation.

 

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.

 

The California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide contains comprehensive details about parents’ legal rights and responsibilities.  Find more information here.

 


Just in time for Father’s Day, a new Child Trends Research Brief out this week takes a look at the characteristics of teen fathers, providing information on teen fathers at the time of the birth of their first child and later as they become young adults.

 

The numbers are not insignificant. The study found that nearly one in ten young men between the ages of 12 and 16 in 1996 (reflecting the group of young men examined in this brief) became fathers before their twentieth birthday.

 

Additional findings include:

 

  • Most young men who father a child during their teens are 18 or 19 years old.

 

  • Most teen fathers are not living with a partner at the time their first child is born.

 

  • Less than one-half of teen fathers live with their first child at the time of the birth.

 

  • Almost one-half of the men who fathered a child as a teen have more than one child by the time they are between ages 22 and 24.

 

Researchers recommend prevention and intervention efforts for teen parents that target both men and women, and addressing repeat teen pregnancy and multiple-partner fertility issues. They conclude “Taking a closer look at teen fathers’ unique circumstances and experiences may help to prevent early fatherhood and subsequent teen births, especially with different partners, and may better equip the current generation of teen fathers with the parenting skills they need to succeed.”

 

The California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide has information on pregnancy prevention and information specific to teen dads. Check out our recent blog post to learn more about fathers’ rights.

 

To read the full study, “The Characteristics and Circumstances of Teen Fathers: At the Birth of Their First Child and Beyond,” click here.

Parents have certain legal duties. They must care for their child physically, emotionally, and financially.

 

For the mom, legal duties start when the baby is born. For the dad, these duties start when the law sees him as the legal father.

 

The California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide has information that can help teen parents learn more about a father’s rights.

 

In the section, The Father, teen parents can find out what a “legal father” is, why that matters for teen moms and babies and what it means in the eyes of the law. This section also includes information on what a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity is, what a “presumed father” is, and what the responsibilities are for each.

 

Married? Unmarried? You’ll find information about that in The Father section too.

 

What about DNA testing? Can the father be obligated to take a DNA test? Check out this section of the Guide for answers.

 

Even if a parent does not want to be involved, s/he is still responsible for financially supporting the child. The kind and amount of support you can get depends on many factors, including income, job benefits, and assets. Learn more in the Guide.

 


The hardest part about being pregnant and in school I would have to say is not being able to attend many of the senior events coming up.

 

For the most part I’m happy I’m still in school and happy that I will be graduating in June. The Nurse-Family Partnership program has helped me out a lot. I learn new things every appointment, and my nurse is very supportive and understanding.

 

My favorite part of the Guide would have to be the section where it helps out the father of the baby with things like looking for jobs. I really like this section because not only does it help the father out but it makes them feel a part of something different.

 

I know it’s hard to have so much on your hands but always remember that there is someone out there that can help and support you with every step you will take through your pregnancy.

 

You need to stay strong and believe in yourself.
~Aurora