For many fathers, paternity testing is a firm step in the right direction to obtaining parental rights to the child they helped conceive. In most cases, child custody and support issues can arise from a positive test. However, it is important to remember that the court tries its best to put the needs and well-being of the child first.
Because of the laws of Texas, a child who is born to unmarried parents does not legally have a father. Being a biological dad and a legal father are two totally different things in Texas. Both parents have to file an Acknowledgment of Paternity in order to show that the man filing is the legal father. This is so the legal rights of the child can be enforced.
While the child may be able to receive benefits through a government system, fathers cannot be made to pay child support until paternity is established and this goes for health insurance and any other assistance, such as social security or veteran’s benefits.
It is a sad fact that children can be born with diseases or disorders that are inherited from their parents. Often, doctors can perform tests that prove if a disorder is inherited through a parent; sometimes the disorder doesn’t show up until late in life. It is a big help to the physicians involved to be able to get a medical history from both the mother and the father to determine the best course of action. Proving paternity is a step in the right direction in this type of case.
If you are involved in a paternity suit, you may want to contact a professional who can guide you in the rights steps to take, whether you are the mother or possibly the father. You have rights under the law, and, while the best interests of the child are paramount, you may want someone in your corner at a time like this.
Source: Attorney General of Texas, “Establishing paternity” Oct. 25, 2014