Angered, you aim to make known to all that said former boyfriend is your baby’s daddy. The steps you take will vary from state to state, but what it comes down to is DNA testing that will support what you know is true. Here’s what you can do to establish paternity.
1. Speak with your social worker. Likely, you have a social worker looking into your case. If so, you have an individual who will go to bat for you. If not, contact your state’s department of social services for assistance. It is important that you have paternity established, not just for the child’s right to know who her daddy is, but to begin support.
2. Ask daddy to volunteer. If you can track down the alleged father, then explain to him that you plan to petition the court for validation. At this point he can usually sign a form acknowledging paternity, therefore amending the birth certificate to include his name. If he still refuses, then move on to the next step.
3. Follow through with paternity testing. Your social worker will advise paternity testing. These days, testing involves submitting DNA from the mother, father and the baby notes the DNA Diagnostic Center. It may take a court order to have the father comply. Be careful here: if you wrongly accuse someone of paternity, you could be left holding the bill. Worse, you might open yourself to a defamation lawsuit.
4. Let the court process play out. With your statement declaring that your boyfriend is the father and DNA testing providing conclusive evidence of the same, the court will convene and make a determination. The verified father may be told to appear in court, too, whereby the judge will make a pronouncement and order the daddy to provide child support. The birth daddy may also request visitation, something the court may decree too.
Paternity testing and court decrees to the side, keep in mind that you’re dealing with another adult in the person of your former boyfriend and the baby’s father. As much as possible it is important to maintain a good relationship with this individual, even if the romantic side of the relationship has clearly been extinguished. Your child deserves two parents and should have access to both. Do what is in the best interest of the child and you’ll maintain harmony in a difficult situation.
You should also know that certain other rights and benefits extend to your child through the father. These may include: dental and medical care, education support and inheritance rights. As your child grows, she’ll have some questions about family background too — let the bio dad handle those.