Paternity testing is a legal process to establish the identity of a child’s biological father. While many birth mothers list the father on the birth certificate at the time of birth, there are times when fathers need to establish legal paternity.
There are a few important reasons why you should consider testing to establish legal paternity.
Both parents must sign legal documents terminating their parental rights to put a child up for adoption. Exceptions arise when the birth mother claims she is uncertain of the father’s identity. Establish your paternity to prevent the child’s mother from putting your child up for adoption.
Preserve custody and visitation rights
Without established paternity, you have no legal rights to your child. Even if the mother acknowledges your paternity to you, the court requires legal validation before you can fight for visitation or custody. When you want to petition the court for custody or visitation rights, ask for a paternity test first.
Ensure access to inheritance and benefits
Many of the benefits that a child automatically receives as your kin require established paternity first. Social Security survivor’s benefits and next-of-kin inheritance rights both require that your child legally establish their parentage. A paternity test ensures their access to familial rights.
If you have any reason to suspect that a child is biologically yours, ask for paternity testing. When the birth mother is uncooperative, you can petition for a court order. When a judge mandates the test, the birth mother cannot refuse without facing contempt. Protect your rights and preserve your relationship with your child.