Nashville, NC asked in Adoption and Child Custody for Maryland

Q: Can I put my husband on my son's birth certificate if he isn't the father and the birth father refuses to be in his life

My sons birth father has explicitly said that he wants nothing to do with my son going so far as to refer to him as "it" when I told him about his birth. Can I just put my husband on the birth certificate without him being the father? Or do I have to go to court and prove abandonment?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Putting your husband on the birth certificate would be a lie. Ideally, if your husband is willing, he should adopt your son, and the birth father can consent to the adoption and relinquish his parental rights. Your husband then becomes the legal parent of your son, and takes on all the same legal obligations as if he were the birth father. Through adoption, the birth father will get what he wants: complete release of all legal liability for his son. You should have a conversation with your husband about whether he is prepared to take on the legal obligations of fatherhood for the next 18 years at least, which includes paying child support in the event you separate or divorce. Your husband would also gain equal status to you as the parent of your son, so in any future dispute over custody or visitation, he would have the same rights as you to seek full custody. On the other hand, adoption will remove any future risk that the birth father comes back into your son's life to exercise legal access and visitation. A step-parent adoption is a fairly straightforward proceeding once you decide to go forward with it, but the decision should not be made lightly.

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste agrees with this answer

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