When a wife gives birth to a child it is determined that her husband is the baby’s father. This is called presumption of paternity, that means that as a result of marriage a man is assumed to be the biological father of the child without additional evidences. Paternity means fatherhood and it can be established in two ways:
- by voluntarily signing the Acknowledgment of Paternity
- by petitioning the court to determine paternity
In the case when the court should determine the biological father of the child, the mother, the child and the presumed father should submit to certain genetic tests. This is usually the DNA testing, where the genetic material of the child is compared against the man’s DNA. This type of testing has the accuracy rate of greater than 99%.
The “Fathers” can be legally classified in:
- Acknowledged Father is the biological father of the child born to an unmarried couple who admits his paternity or signs an acknowledgement of paternity.
- Presumed father may not be the biological father of the child. If a woman conceives or gives birth to a child while she is married, her husband is “presumed” to be the father of the child. The same happens when the husband voluntarily allows to place his name on a child’s birth certificate.
- Equitable Father is the non-biological father who has a close “father-child” relationship and desires to have the rights afforded to a parent.
- Unwed Father is the man who impregnates a woman but doesn’t marry her.
By establishing paternity both parents ensure themselves that their child will have the same benefits and rights that the children born to married parents have. By establishing paternity the child will receive both emotional and financial benefits. Every child has two parents, and every child deserves both of them to be a part of their life.
It would be wise to consult at Legal Bistro an experienced attorney about Paternity case issues as they can have far-reaching implications, both financially and emotionally.