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Paternity: You have a right to know your child

When your child was born, it was the best moment of your life. That was until you found out that you hadn't been assumed to be the child's father. You weren't married to the mother, and now you're concerned you won't get the rights you deserve or get to take part in raising your child due to the mother's wishes.

How can you voluntarily assume paternity?

To voluntarily assume paternity, you need to be married to the mother at the time of the child's birth. If your child is born when you are not married to the mother, then you can marry after the child is born and sign a legitimation form.

You can also sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or similar agreement. This document can be drafted by your attorney.

Other ways to voluntarily assume paternity include holding the child out as your own, having a close parent/child relationship with the child and obtaining equitable rights through the court, or by attempting to marry the mother of the child when it is conceived or after the child is born.

What is involuntary paternity?

Involuntary paternity refers to when a mother brings a case against an alleged father to determine if he is the true father of the child. DNA testing is usually required. Genetic blood tests are 99 percent accurate, so the court may issue a request for a blood sample. If the man is the biological father of the child, then he will be required to pay child support and assumes the responsibilities of a parent.

You have a right to see your child if he or she is your biological son or daughter. Our website has more information on proving paternity.

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