It is normal to have many questions about paternity, parental responsibility, custody, provider responsibility, visitations, and the rights and duties that come with paternity.
As a partner, you do not have the legal right to decide for or against an abortion. This is a woman’s choice that is stipulated in the Norwegian Act relating to the Termination of Pregnancy. It is only when the pregnancy is completed and a child has been born that you will have rights as a father or co-mother.
Do you need someone to talk to?
At Amathea, you will meet healthcare professionals with extensive experience in counselling after an abortion. We are a healthcare service, have a duty of confidentiality, and can help you in your situation and in making your decision. You may come alone or together with your partner or co-parent.
All of our services are free of charge. We offer sessions in Norwegian and English. We can also book interpreters for other languages. A session here lasts about an hour, and you can talk with us on video, by phone, or at one of our offices. You decide how many sessions you need, and we will schedule these together.
Questions regarding paternity?
At nav.no you can find more information about what paternity means for you. This includes a summary of the rules that apply. Take some time to read about the most important regulations regarding paternity and decide what you will do if you are uncertain about whether you are the father.
If you are uncertain, the paternity can be determined with blood tests and DNA analyses. DNA analyses examine the genetic information in samples taken from the child, the child’s mother and the assumed father. Such tests are performed after the child is born. Farskap.no is Oslo University Hospital’s website on paternity and DNA paternity testing. This site provides brief information on DNA testing and the probability of determining paternity. You can get answers to questions and order a test online if you wish. You must pay for the test yourself.
Should there be any uncertainty regarding paternity, the assumed father should wait to sign the paternity certificate until a DNA test has been taken once the child is born. As long as the man’s name is stated in the woman’s pregnancy documents, he will be called in for a meeting with NAV after the child is born. The purpose of the meeting is to determine paternity, and if the man is uncertain, he can say that he does not acknowledge paternity. NAV will then be responsible for DNA testing.
Once the child is born and paternity has been clarified, you will have parental responsibility. Parental responsibility is not the same as having custody. Parental responsibility involves the rights and duties of parents to make decisions for their child in personal matters. All children born on or after 1 January 2020 will have parents with joint parental responsibility. This applies to children with married parents, children with cohabiting parents, and children whose parents do not live together. See also Chapter 2 of the Act relating to Children and Parents (the Children Act) relating to parental responsibility.
The Children Act gives children the right of access to both parents, even when the parents do not live together. The right of access must be in the child’s best interests, which means that it is the child’s needs that must be prioritised. Parents are free to make their own arrangements for access or visitation with the child. The child’s right of access is regulated by Chapter 6 of the Children Act.
If the woman chooses to go through with the pregnancy, you will both have provider responsibility for the child. This will apply even if you do not live together, or if you choose not to be an active father. Your responsibility as a provider and the amount of child support will be based on the needs of the child. You will have provider responsibility until the child is 18 years old. The most important child support provisions can be found in Chapter 8 of the Children Act. See nav.no for more information on child support payments, where you can also find a child support calculator to find out what you will have to pay in child support. The site also has information on child benefits and various support schemes. You can also find some information on NAV’s paternity page.
Other relevant services, information sites and assistance related to becoming a father include:
Family Counselling Services
Family Counselling Services provide low-threshold services free of charge related to a variety of family and relationship issues. Family Counselling Services can help parents come to an agreement on matters relating to the children and can assist with advice and guidance to improve cooperation between the parents. These services offer individual, couples and group therapy. The services are offered nationwide. An overview of Family Counselling Services offices in Norway can be found here: Family Counselling Services.
Contact a lawyer if you need help with legal matters. On the website advokatenhjelperdeg.no, experienced lawyers offer free advice and information on relevant legal issues and legal aid. You can ask your own questions. This service also offers a free half-hour legal consultation at several locations in Norway. You can find an overview of this service here: Advokatvakten.
Free legal aid is a scheme established to help people with low incomes. Free legal aid involves legal advice. This means that your expenses for a consultation with a lawyer will be covered. Free legal aid also includes free representation. This refers to legal aid in cases that are presented before the courts, including lawyer fees and court fees. You can read more about the Act relating to Free Legal Aid here.
Parents may also seek assistance from the County Governor, where they can discuss practical and legal matters relating to parental responsibility, including access and visitations. You can also get information about free legal aid. Find more information here.
Reform – Resource Centre for Men
Reform – Resource Centre for Men provides assistance services for men, with special focus on the life situations, challenges and needs of men and boys. You can contact the centre by phone and talk to an experienced counsellor about your situation. Should you need legal aid, you can contact Reform for legal advice provided by a lawyer.