The most convenient time for parents to establish paternity for their child is in the hospital when the child is born. The father must be present and provide identification to have his name placed on the Affidavit of Parentage. When this document is filed with Vital Records both parents' names are recorded on the birth certificate. If paternity is not established voluntarily legal action may be filed with the courts. A formal complaint is served upon the alleged father initiating court action. A court hearing is held, and the court may enter an order establishing paternity.
Genetic (DNA) testing is recommended if there are doubts regarding the paternity of the child. Blood or tissue samples may be used for testing. The most common method uses tissue swabbed from the inside of the cheek. This test is highly accurate in determining the probability that a man is the father of a child. Test results may provide peace of mind to parents who establish paternity voluntarily or may be presented as evidence in legal proceedings to establish paternity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can pursue a paternity establishment action even if your child’s father lives in another state.
Child support agencies will work with the military to establish paternity and child support.