For various reasons, the paternity of a child may be in question. A man might believe he couldn’t father children and wonder how his spouse or partner got pregnant. He might not even be sure that he had a sexual relationship with the mother within the window of conception. Therefore, it makes sense that some may desire more proof of their relationship to a newborn child.
It’s vital to remember that paternity is something you can establish with almost perfect accuracy. Paternity matters for a few reasons, including:
- Giving a child a sense of belonging and identity
- Making it easier to bond
- Setting up realistic expectations in terms of financial obligations to the child
- Giving a child access to medical records on the father’s side
- Providing access to one-half of their family
Birth fathers can choose to voluntarily acknowledge paternity if they wish. To do this, a father can sign a Declaration of Paternity at the hospital if he was present during the child’s birth. If he was not present, he can complete an affidavit of paternity at any time following the child’s birth until they reach the age of 18.
What can a presumptive father do if the birth mother doesn’t admit that he is the biological dad?
If a man believes that a child is his but is not receiving access to the child or hasn’t been allowed to sign the birth certificate, he may want to petition the court to seek a paternity test. Mothers can also petition the court for a paternity test to prove, or disprove, that a particular man is the father of her child.