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Teen Fatherhood FAQ

A closer look at your rights and responsibilities.

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There is a lot of advice out there for girls who find themselves facing an unwanted or unexpected pregnancy but there is very little information out there for guys. It takes two to make a baby but all too often when the pregnancy is announced the guy gets lost in the confusion. But teen fatherhood is not something to be taken lightly and along with responsibilities to the mother and the child you have rights that you need to know about.

What are your rights as a prospective father?

First and foremost you have the right to know for sure that you are the father. This is not only a right you have but it is a right that the unborn child is entitled to as well. While everyone is mixed up in the emotionally charged circumstances surrounding an unwanted pregnancy it is often overlooked or downplayed that both father and child have a right to know the truth about paternity. Understandably a pregnant girl may be upset when the subject of DNA testing comes up but it is not something you should ever feel guilty about requesting. You are not calling her sexual conduct in to question by wanting to know for sure that you are the father. You are not suggesting that she is bad or a liar. You are simply exercising your right to know for sure that you are the father and this is important because fatherhood is a life long commitment.

If you are the father you have the right to know your child and to participate in your child’s life. You have rights of custody and access. You also have responsibilities. You have the responsibility to financially and emotionally care for your child. You have a responsibility to be present in your child’s life and ensure that your child’s needs are met. You have the responsibility to ensure that your child is safe and well cared for and is free from harm. You have the responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of your child. More on rights and responsibilities later, first let’s look at the most important thing every prospective father needs to know about… how to know if they are really the father.

How can you know if you are the father?

There are two ways to determine if you are the father, blood type matching and DNA testing. Blood type matching is the cheapest and simplest test but it does not determine paternity it only tells you if it is possible that you are the father. If the blood types don’t match up there is no possible way you are the father and no other tests are needed. If the blood types do match up it only means that you could be the father and a DNA test will be needed to know for sure.

In order to match blood types you need to know the answers to three questions; what is the father’s blood type, what is the mother’s blood type and what is the baby’s blood type? A baby’s blood type is determined by the blood types of its parents and it is an exact science as to what possible blood type a baby can have based on the types of the parents. It may sound confusing but it is really very simple. The blood type of the baby is determined by a combination of its’ parents' blood types. If the baby has a blood type that could not be the result of the combined blood types of both parents then the paternity is usually called in to question (since in natural conception maternity is never at issue).

So what is the difference between a positive and a negative blood type match? Rh factor aside (which determines if the blood type is positive + or negative – and is not effected by paternity) a baby will have the same blood type as either its mother or its father or it will have a combined blood type based on the types of both parents. A negative blood type matching happens if a baby does not have the father’s or mother’s blood type or if the blood type that a baby does have is not a possible combination of the father’s and the mother’s. A positive blood type matching happens when a baby has the same blood type as the mother, the same blood type as the father or a blood type that is a combination of the parent’s blood types. The following chart shows which blood types are possible based on the combined types of the parents.

Determining Paternity by Blood Type

PARENTS' BLOOD TYPES YOU MAY BE THE FATHER IF THE BABY IS YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER IF THE BABY IS
A and A A, O B, AB
A and B A, B, AB, O All types match
A and AB A, B, AB O
A and O A, O B, AB
B and B B, O A, AB
B and AB A, B, AB O
B and O B, O A, AB
AB and AB A, B, AB O
AB and O A, B AB, O
O and O O A, B, AB
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