If a child is born in California without a father's name on his or her birth certificate, it may be unclear who has custody. As a general rule, custody will be determined in the state by looking at what is in the best interest of the child. However, other states may have different rules relating to who gets custody of a child born when the parents aren't married and no father is on the birth certificate.
For example, Michigan gives the birth mother initial custody of the child while Oklahoma gives the mother full custody right away. It is also possible that either parent could be given custody or that it will be split in such cases. Parents are encouraged to learn more about the law to better understand their rights and obligations after a child is born.
There are many laws that may be worth understanding further such as the process of establishing paternity or getting a child support order. It may be advisable to consult with an attorney to prepare for the process of getting visitation or custody rights to a child. This may also make it easier to create a parenting plan that is in the child's best interests and is convenient for a parent as well.
The best interests of the child will be the top priority whenever a child custody ruling is made. Parents who are not granted custody may instead be allowed visitation rights to a son or daughter and be asked to pay child support. An attorney may help a parent to seek custody rights or to ask for child support if necessary. In some cases, doing so may first involve establishing a father's paternity.