Well, hello daddy! Those are the words you long to say to the man you have confirmed is your bio dad. Your daddy’s sperm and your mother’s egg got together to produce you. Trouble is, you don’t know for certain who your daddy is. Or at least your mother can’t rule out just anyone.
Proving paternity is important as it provides you with many rights to include: medical history, child support, inheritance and other benefits. You should know that if your mother was already married when you were born, that in some states your mother’s husband is the father, regardless of progeny. This is where contacting a family attorney to know your rights is important for the state where you reside.
Daddy volunteers it. In some states, a man’s voluntary statement attesting to paternity is all that is needed. This goes beyond the name on the birth certificate. Instead, it is a paternity form that must be signed, notarized and entered in as a matter of record to affirm fatherhood. Check with your state’s social service department to learn how this process works.
Mind over matter. In some states you are allowed to change your mind about paternity after the fact. If you’re considering withdrawing paternity, contact your attorney for guidance. It isn’t a slam dunk process and there is usually a timeframe or a window of opportunity that must be exploited before it closes forever.
Your actions prove paternity. Paternity isn’t always a matter of supplying your part of the procreation element to produce a baby. If you adopt a child, you gain the same rights afforded to the bio dad. As far as the courts, society or anyone else is concerned, you’re the daddy. Being a daddy is established by taking care of a child. If you feed her, cloth her, shelter her, provide medical support, drive her to school, kiss here boo-boos and otherwise care for her, then you’re the daddy.
Daddy supplies DNA. In years past, parenthood was proven by supplying blood or tissue samples, one of the more accurate methods offered in modern days. Yet, such samples weren’t always conclusive, with a one in 10 chance that paternity was incorrectly established. In the past decade or two, courts have relied on DNA testing to prove or disprove paternity. The advantage here is that when paternity has been proven, it is done so with 99.9 percent certainty. That means that there is very little chance that an error occurred. You should know that providing DNA comes from three people: the father, the mother and the child. All three must consent, otherwise no determination can be made.
The Parent Trap
The last thing any man should do is volunteer paternity without consulting with a family law attorney first. In some states, your admission of parenting is irrevocable, thus the consequences of that decision can prove disastrous, putting you in a real parent trap advises the DNA Diagnostic Center.
Once fatherhood has been affirmed, then you will be responsible for child support. Further, you will be required to meet other needs extending to but not always including: high education, health and dental benefits, and inheritance.
To sum up, affirming paternity can place you in a parent trap if you are not careful. Avoid that trap by consulting with your family attorney first and seeking her guidance going forward.