The father of every child has the responsibility to protect and support the child. Paternity can exist both within the confines of a marriage and out of wedlock. It can also exist in other forms of relations like that of adoption or by assisted reproduction. The natural method is the most common form of paternity. In all these cases, no matter what situation, the responsibilities and duties of the father to the child remains the same.
The father who is not married to the child’s mother may be able to prove or disprove his paternity through acknowledgment of the responsibility or by genetic DNA testing. Within the marriage, the courts usually do not allow the father to disprove paternity unless they present a clear evidence for the doubt. However, if paternity is not disapproved within a reasonable period after childbirth, the courts might not allow you to push through with it, especially if the child is born within the bounds of marriage.
Can you voluntarily acknowledge paternity?
Legally, you can only acknowledge paternity without the need to prove it. When the child is born, you just have to sign the documents in the hospital that states that you are the father of the child, whether you are married to the mother or not. In the birth certificate of the child, your name will appear as the recognized father of the child. You can also change the paternity even at a later time as long as it is to acknowledge affinity to the child. Request for the change of status and or acknowledgment of paternity may be made in the state records department.
Can you change your mind and request for a paternity test?
Though you have already acknowledged the paternity, the court still allows that change is made upon your request. However, this is only possible when evidence comes to light that you may not be the father of the child. Most areas in Canada allow the withdrawal of acknowledgment, depending on particular states in the country. However, this may only be done within a limited period. Sometimes, you may be required to file legal action with the court to withdraw your acknowledgment of paternity.
When you find yourself in the middle of doubt as to whether you are the father of the child or not, it is best to talk with a family lawyer. Taking the legal remedy in this situation may be the only viable option, especially when you don’t want to take on the responsibility that’s not yours.