Becoming a father can be one of the most powerful experiences in a man’s life. However, if a romantic partner becomes pregnant, there may be some question as to the identity of the biological father.
Establishing paternity is usually a necessary step for any father not married to the mother of his child who wants to have the rights of a parent under Florida law. What are your options for establishing paternity in Florida?
The mother can include you at birth or in the future when you marry
The simplest way to establish paternity is to have the mother acknowledge you as the father of the child. The two of you can fill out paperwork at the hospital after the birth that establishes you as a father and places your name on the birth certificate.
Alternatively, if the two of you remain in a romantic relationship and plan to get married, you can potentially have the birth certificate revised when you apply for a marriage license.
Ask the mother to acknowledge you as the father
Fathers don’t always know about their children if they’re no longer involved with the mother. They may also take some time to adjust to the idea of parenthood.
If your child is not a newborn but is not yet 18, you can quickly and easily establish paternity by filling out paperwork with the mother. However, both of you have to be in agreement about establishing your paternity for this process to work.
Ask the courts to confirm paternity through genetic testing
If the mother of your child doesn’t want to cooperate with you or if there is still some question about who the father actually is, you can ask for support in establishing paternity through genetic testing.
Whichever approach you take, establishing paternity can be a worthwhile process that helps you become more involved in the life of your child.