Unmarried Mother's Custody Rights
If the parents were not married when the child was conceived or born, the mother has sole custody until a court decides otherwise. The mother starts out automatically with sole physical and sole legal custody. This is because there is usually no question about who the mother is since she gave birth to the child. Because a father can’t be decided in the same way, the legal system waits for a signed Recognition of Parentage (ROP) or a court order that names a legal father. Only then can the father get the rights and responsibilities that are part of being a father.