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How Can I Get Legal Recognition as My Child’s Father?

 Posted on March 04, 2024 in Paternity

IL family lawyerNot everyone is aware that your marital status at the time of your child’s birth affects whether you are legally recognized as the child’s father. When a woman gives birth to a baby, she is automatically considered that baby’s mother. If she happens to be married to a man at the time of the birth, then he is automatically considered the baby’s father. Things become more complicated for an unmarried couple. Certain procedures need to be followed for the father to be recognized as such, and this legal recognition of parentage is of significance later on. If the father is not interested in being legally considered the father, the mother can go through the court to compel him to take a DNA test, thus proving he is the father and making him liable for various parental responsibilities. But if you are the father and you want your parental rights, you can conduct what is called a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, or VAP. If you are a single father who wants to be involved in raising your child, speak with a trustworthy Wheaton, IL paternity rights lawyer who can explain what your options are and offer guidance.

What is a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity?

A VAP is a way for a biological father to declare at their own volition that they are the child’s father. Such recognition would make them eligible for various parental rights and liable for parental responsibilities. Both parents need to sign a form stating that they are the child’s biological parents. If they both do so, proving their parentage is a fairly straightforward process.

Parents can sign a VAP at the hospital when the child is born and anytime after. If it is signed at the time of birth, the father’s name can be included on the child’s birth certificate just like the mother’s. If it is signed later in the child’s life, it needs to be mailed to the Department of Vital Statistics, and once that happens, a new birth certificate can be issued to include the father’s name. This is commonly done when a man discovers that he fathered a child after the child was born.

Once paternity is established, it means that the child will be granted access to the father’s medical records and can be eligible for receiving various death benefits, including life insurance policy, retirement funds, and inheritance.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Wheaton, IL Paternity Attorney

If you are expecting to become a father soon but are not married to the mother, speak with a compassionate DuPage County, IL paternity lawyer about establishing your paternity. At Davi Law Group, we have the experience to guide you through this process. Call 630-657-5052 to schedule a free consultation.

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