Know your right to fatherhood before your child's born

When a child is born to two adults who are married, there isn't usually any question about who the child's parents are. For that reason, the husband is assumed to be the father. This gives him the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood immediately.

If you are not married at the time your child is born, then there are some additional steps you must take to make sure you obtain your rights. While you may be able to voluntarily accept your parental rights at the hospital when your child is born, you may not know about the birth or be unable to attend. In that case, you still deserve the chance to assume those rights.

How do unwed fathers seek parental rights over their children?

Usually, the unwed father has a few choices. One is to sign an acknowldgement that states that you are the father of the child. However, if you are uncertain about the child being yours, then you may wish to have a DNA test first. This is also a helpful test to request if the mother does not want you to sign the voluntary acknowledgment due to the possibility of not being the father of the child. With DNA, there is proof that you are the father (or are not) in around 99 percent of cases.

There are more people living in relationships without being married than ever before, which is why it's important to know the steps you need to take to assume your parental responsibilities. If you and the mother part ways, you want to know that you have a right to see and care for your children.

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