Texas residents and others can establish paternity in two different ways. First, they can voluntarily acknowledge paternity by filling out a form at the hospital when the baby is born or at any point before the child turns 18. It may also be possible to establish paternity through genetic testing if there is doubt about who the child's father is. Genetic testing will involve the mother and the child in addition to the alleged father.
If a man alleged to be a child's father doesn't submit to testing, he could be named the child's father by default. The same could occur if the tests reveal that he is the father and there are no efforts to dispute the finding within 60 days. Establishing paternity can be beneficial to the child because he or she gets to inherit from that person.
A child also has access to the parent's medical history, which could reveal genetic issues to look for as the child gets older. Furthermore, the child will receive financial support from the father as well as have an ability to form an emotional connection with that person. As a general rule, all children should have the right to know who their father is regardless of the depth of their relationship. Once paternity is established, a man may have his name added to the child's birth certificate.
By establishing paternity, a father may be able to obtain legal or physical custody to a child. Alternatively, that individual may be given the opportunity to obtain visitation rights or other rights to interact with a son or daughter. Those who are seeking custody or other parental rights may benefit from consulting with an attorney who may be able to provide insight into how to achieve that goal.