There are many reasons why it’s important to establish paternity, not the least of which is that your child will know who their biological father is. Paternity is also essential for establishing the father’s right to see his child and to make sure that he is obligated to help care for that child legally.
Paternity can be established voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary paternity usually happens when:
- A child is born to a married couple
- The father attempts to marry the mother of a child once the child is conceived or born
- The child is born to unwed parents but both parents get married after their child is born
- A voluntary acknowledgement of paternity is signed by the father
The father holds the child out as his own and welcomes them into his household openly
In cases where the father is not known or there is some confusion about who the father is, the court may need to seek DNA test results to determine who the biological father’s child is. A paternity lawsuit may be filed by a mother against a probable father, or a father may seek a DNA test to prove that he is or is not the parent.
Genetic blood testing proves paternity with 99% accuracy, so once that is done, the court may establish (or end) the man’s legal obligation to the child depending on the outcome.
DNA is an important factor in these tests, and a simple swab can answer all your questions. If you are looking for answers, then your attorney may be able to help with paternity testing.