Biology and the law do not necessarily coincide when it comes to determining who the father of a child is. The law says that the man who is married to the mother is the father.
Establishing paternity is important for a variety reasons that include both emotional and financial reasons for the child. It is helpful for unmarried parents to understand the process of establishing paternity and the impact it can have on them and the child.
The rights of unmarried fathers have often been compromised when it comes to their involvement in the day-to-day lives of their children. In recent times, however, fathers’ rights have evolved and that has led to the “tender years’ doctrine” of yesteryears-which said that a mother should have custody of a young child-taking a back seat.
As past posts on this blog have noted, paternity is an important legal concept when it comes to preserving a man’s parental rights. If a man is not legally recognized as a child’s father, then he may lose opportunities to secure custody and visitation with his child, or to stop an adoption if the child’s mother chooses not to keep the child.