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My 17 year old son is going to be a father

My son is not with the mother of his child, she tells him he cant have anything to do with it unless he is with her. He wants to be a part of the babies life but where to start?

My 17 year old son is going to be a father. Yes he is young. His relationship with the mother was toxic and not good for either of them so he ended it. He has worked full time for over a year now and wants to be a part of the babies life. He doesn't just want to pay child support he wants to share care and have the baby on weekends etc. Where do we start? What legal steps can we take to try to get shared care? She has threatened to ensure we have nothing to do with the child ever. I've googled alot and basically all I can find is that he has no rights until it is determined by DNA testing that he is the father, then and only then can he make application for shared care. Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you 
It is not a simple issue and I will do much disservice to rush out a reply. The child has a lot of rights in Australia to know the father, so your Google searches may not be entirely reliable.

If you take some time to search the site here you will see there have been a number of posts about young adults having children. If he is the father he can start to work on getting his name on the Birth certificate. It is an offence where the father is known to exclude or not insert the fathers name on the Birth certificate documents. Be aware that Child support payments will commence shortly after either when she approaches Centrelink for assistance or when she contacts the CSA. There is a wealth of knowledge in the site here about the sorts of things you raise. A first port of call will be the Family relationship Centres. If there is no resolution it will need to be taken further through the family  courts but most cases get some resolution before then. You will not get shared care at this stage (being anything like equal time) but you have to start somewhere.

Are you getting any time with mum and the baby currently? Do you have any relationship with her parents? Are there any areas of common ground on anything?

Presumptions of Parentage

CSA can be satisfied that a person is a parent in 9 fact situations (section 29(2)):

    the child was born while the person was married to the child's mother or father. A child is born during a marriage even if the parties to the marriage have separated as long as a divorce was not finalised at the time of the birth (i.e. the child was born before the decree absolute).
    the person is named as the child's parent in a register of births or parentage information kept under Australian law or the laws of a reciprocating jurisdiction. CSA will accept a person's verbal assurance that they themselves are named as the child's parent in a register of births but the applicant may need to provide a statutory declaration or a copy of the birth certificate to establish that the other parent is named in the register of births.
    an Australian court, or a court of a reciprocating jurisdiction, has expressly found that the person is a parent of the child, or has made a finding that could not have been made unless the person was a parent of the child (and that finding has not been set aside, altered or reversed).
    the person has executed an instrument under an Australian law, or the law of a reciprocating jurisdiction, such as a statutory declaration under the Oaths Act of an Australian state, acknowledging that they are the child's parent, and that instrument has not been annulled or set aside.
    the person has adopted the child in Australia or under the law of another country (whether or not that country is a reciprocating jurisdiction).
    the person is a man and the child was born within 44 weeks of his marriage to the child's mother and the marriage has since been annulled.
    the person is a man who was married to the child's mother and they separated, then resumed cohabitation for 3 months or less, and the child was born within 44 weeks of the end of that last period of cohabitation but after they divorced (after the date of the decree absolute).
    the person is a man who cohabited with the child's mother at any time during the period beginning 44 weeks and ending 20 weeks before the child was born, but they were not married at any time during that period. For the purposes of section 29, cohabitation means living together in a sexual relationship (Bixby and Farraday (SSAT Appeal) [2009] FMCAfam 647).
    CSA is satisfied that the person is a parent of the child under section 60H or section 60HB of the Family Law Act.

CSA cannot be satisfied that a person is a parent of a child solely on the basis of the results of paternity tests. CSA cannot be satisfied that a person is a parent of a child on the basis of a person's verbal acknowledgment of parentage; however a person can provide verbal confirmation that they themselves are named as a parent of a child in a register of births. Only a court may determine that it is satisfied of a child's parentage on the basis of other evidence.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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