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Paternity Testing

Posted on in Family Law
As time progresses on, society continues to change, and today, it is more likely than ever that people will have more than one sexual partner in their lifetime. This is also becoming more socially acceptable, although some people do still frown upon physical intimacy before marriage. For those people that do participate in the act, however, legal issues can arise and become exceedingly more complicated. LucyIf a child is conceived out of wedlock, there is a chance that the mother will not know who the real father is. Even if the mother thinks that she knows, she cannot be certain unless she only had one partner around the time of conception. Some men are thrilled to assume that the child is theirs and take on fatherhood responsibilities, but others do not want to be tricked into fatherhood of a child that is not theirs. To know for certain, a paternity test can determine the child’s biological father. Testing to determine a child’s biological father is important, not only for the parents, but also for the child for many reasons such as:
  • Having accurate family medical history available for the child, which is especially helpful in the event of a genetic disease or disorder that may arise as the child grows
  • Having access to certain social and legal benefits like veteran’s and inheritance benefits and social security
Most states require hospitals to have an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP), which states who the father is, signed by unmarried parents when the child is born. If a couple has been unmarried for at least 300 days, then there will simply be no father listed on the birth certificate until the legal document is filled out, at which point the father will be added to the birth certificate. Once the AOP is signed, the father listed, even if he is not truly the biological father, will be held legally accountable for the child. This is, unless the couple requests a DNA test to be done and they change the AOP. The DNA test and AOP is especially important to fathers if the mother is married to someone else, because the husband will be assumed to be the father of the child and he will be listed on the birth certificate as the legal father. The biological father can, then, still request an AOP and be listed as the child’s father on the birth certificate if the husband and man currently listed as the father signs a denial of paternity, stating that he is not truly the father. If he refuses to sign the denial, the biological father can take further action in court. If you are a biological father to a child who has someone else, or maybe no one, listed as his or her father on their birth certificate, contact a family law attorney for assistance. Goostree Law Group is located in Kane County, Ill. and is available to help you claim fatherhood today.
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