The following is another article from DivorceNet and offers general observation (not state-specific) on questions single mothers may have about their legal rights:
I just gave birth to a baby girl. I’m not married to her father and I don’t want to get married, but I want to protect my daughter. What should I do?
If the father agrees, have him sign papers acknowledging paternity of your baby before she leaves the hospital. If he won’t, you’ll have to see a lawyer and prepare papers for a court case.
I’ll probably be able to get him to sign the papers in the hospital, but what if he changes his mind and won’t pay any support?
Depending on the laws of your state, the putative father may have a short period of time to rescind or take back his voluntary acknowledgment, but his initial acknowledgment could be used against him in court.
What happens to his child support obligation while we’re fighting in court?
Again, it depends on your state’s laws, but you could be entitled to receive child support on a temporary basis until the court enters a final judgment of paternity. When the final judgment enters, you’ll also get so-called final orders of support, although in it’s possible to modify or change "final" orders if circumstances change.
Can I make him submit to DNA testing?
You probably can, depending on the laws of your state. If your boyfriend acknowledges paternity and then rescinds, he’ll probably be ordered to submit to testing.
If he doesn’t acknowledge the baby, what can I do?
Again, it depends on the state where you live, but you would have to file a suit and some sort of written document signed under oath, like an affidavit, that states that sexual intercourse occurred between you and putative father during the period of probable conception. If you were married to someone other than the putative father during the probable period of conception, your spouse or former spouse would have to be notified.
I was married to my former husband then, but I don’t want him involved. He doesn’t even know about the baby. Why do I have to tell him?
You should check out the laws of your state, but usually states insist upon involving the mother’s husband or former husband, because he could be the father, if your child was conceived during marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated by divorce, death or annulment. Up until a few years ago, the courts automatically presumed the husband was the father if the child was conceived during those periods. That meant all children born during marriage were presumed legitimate.
Can my daughter’s father claim that I had sexual intercourse with my former husband or other men during the probable period of conception?
Perhaps, but the answer depends on the laws of the state where the paternity action is pending. For example, the Massachusetts courts only allow the mother to offer evidence about her sexual relations with other men, so your boyfriend wouldn’t be allowed to introduce evidence about other men.