As a father, you want to know that you have the same legal rights as your child’s mother. If you’re married, you automatically receive those rights, because it’s assumed that you’re the father of a newborn child. However, if you aren’t married to the mother of your child, then you will need to prove your paternity.
Establishing your paternity is an important step toward raising your child. Once you’ve done this, you can break up from the mother, if you want to, and you’d still have the legal right to see and care for your child.
If you decide to marry the mother of your child after your baby is born, you can sign a form to show that you are taking the responsibility of being the child’s father. This form guarantees you the same rights as a father who was married at the time of a baby’s birth. If you’re not interested in marriage at the moment, you can establish paternity voluntarily by signing paperwork with the mother of the child and turning it into the court. If the father won’t sign but is the legitimate father of the child, legal action can be taken to establish his responsibility as the child’s father. The most common method of establishing paternity at any time in Canada is with the use of a DNA test.
If you believe you’re the father of a child but haven’t been able to sign a form to say so, you have a few options. If the mother agrees, the form is simple to file. If not, you could ask the court to take a DNA test to approve your rights to your child. You have the right to seek help from the court if a woman is withholding your right to see if the child is yours.
Source: FindLaw, “Chronology: Establishing Paternity,” accessed June 04, 2015
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