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I'm pregnant and need to leave the father, what can I do to legally make him stay away from us?

By Anonymous January 15, 2010 - 12:49am
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I am 7 months pregnant and have to leave the father. He is an alcoholic and has a past drug problem, that I am very sure is not so much in his past anymore. I do not care anymore that our relationship is over, all I care about is that my daughter will be safe and never be around someone so unstable and hurtful. Legally is there anyway to make him give up his parental rights? How can I ensure that he is not there the day she is born and after? I do not want to move to another state or city, but I will obviously do what I need to in order to ensure her never having to deal with him and his problems.

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Susan and Alison gave you wonderful advice. I just want to say how proud I am of you that you are taking care of your baby girl and yourself and that you realize you cannot have someone in your life like this.

Do you have other people around you who support you emotionally, like family or friends?

Do you live with this person? Is it going to be a big deal to move out? And whether or not you live with him, are you worried that you will be physically in danger after you leave?

If that's so, please call the number Alison gave you. They will help you get to a safe place and help you get your feet on the ground. And be strong for your baby girl. Someday she will be very proud and grateful that you took care of her in this way.

January 19, 2010 - 8:48am

If you are delivering your baby in a hospital, please talk with the hospital staff about who you do/do not want in the delivery room and recovery room. I am not sure what their policies are, but you have EVERY RIGHT to NOT have certain people in the room with you and your baby. Since you are not legally married to this person, I would assume that you can put him on the "not allowed to visit" list, as he may have to prove his paternity if you deny him access to the room...I am not sure. Please talk with the hospital staff, each nurse when his/her shift ends/begins...so that you can know that your labor, delivery and recovery within the hospital walls will be peaceful and not include unwanted people.

If this person has emotionally, mentally, physically or sexually assaulted you in any way, you can talk with someone about your legal rights, and your concern for the safety of you and your unborn child. Please call the free, anonymous number for the National Domestic Abuse: 1-800-799-SAFE.

How are you doing?

January 17, 2010 - 2:40pm
HERWriter Guide

Dear Anon

Welcome to Empowher! I'm sorry you're finding yourself in such a difficult situation at such a difficult time.

You can ask him to forfeit his parental rights (which means your forfeit any child support but it doesn't sound like you want to get it from him) and he can sign them away so that he is not legally the child's father anymore.

If he refuses to, in most states/cases he has equal parenting rights unless the state finds him to be an unfit parent. You can't make him give up his rights unless he wants to. Just because the relationship is over with you, does not mean his relationship is over with his child.

You can petition the courts (contact social services in your area as well as your District Attorney's office) and explain your situation to them. If he fights you, you will need proof of his abuse but since the baby has not been born yet, he cannot be accused of bad parenting so you may have a fight on your hands.

He may to take a paternity test since he is not your legal husband (at least this is the case in most states - assumption of paternity is only with husbands, not boyfriends).

Has he physically or sexually assaulted you?

If he's a drug addict and alcoholic then he may not even try to fight you - he may just fade into the background. But remember he could change his mind and resurface and cause problems later on. Surround yourself with positive and healthy people from now on. If he has a history of this and is an alcoholic and you knew this, getting pregnant by him was very unwise. I know this is a very hard time for you but I'm sure you understand that you need to take some ownership in the problems you have now. Make this a time of learning, as well as healing.

If you feel you are in immediate danger, seek help with a shelter or call 911.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can provide you with (we cannot provide legal advice) or find shelters for you. You can let us know where you live or send a message via PM.

Please take good care of yourself and your baby. You're in a difficult situation - I wish you the very best.

Do you think he'll fight you for custody or ask for visitation? Does he know you plan on leaving? Make sure you are careful and protect your privacy (and your plans) from him. Tell friends and family of your situation. Leaving an abusive relationship can be a dangerous time so ensure that you have backup and support, both physical and emotional.

Will you update us?

January 15, 2010 - 2:57pm
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