As a father of a child with someone who you are no longer dating, it’s important that you do establish paternity. The reality is that if you do not, you will have little or no control over what the mother of your child does and when you see your child.
Many men believe that acknowledging that they are the parents of their children is enough, but that is not the case. Instead, you need to realize that you must legally establish your parentage with the court. Simply signing a birth certificate in the hospital may not be enough to get you the protections you deserve as a parent or the time you want with your child.
Can your child’s mother take them out of the country without permission?
This is one thing that men need to understand right away. If you do not establish legal paternity, then you have no right to see your child. You will not be recognized as a legal parent of the child. Even if your name is on the birth certificate, you won’t automatically get a say in what happens to your child.
That means that the mother of your child could opt to leave the state or country, and you’d have no right to contest her actions. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s how the law still works today.
How can you easily establish paternity?
If you are sure that the child is yours, then you can sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. The mother must agree that you are the father as well, and then you can both sign this together.
If she does not agree that you are the father, you can ask the court to order a genetic test of your child and the other alleged father as well as yourself. If you don’t agree that you’re the father, you can ask for a DNA test to show your link to the child.
Having a child out of wedlock is treated differently than having a child when you’re married. Be sure you understand the laws, so you can protect your right to parent your child.