Learning You Are Not A Child’s Biological Parent
Parenting can be one of the greatest achievements for any individual, shaping the life and future of a well-functioning member of society. But, on occasion, the worst circumstances can find that, biologically, a child they think is their own… Is not. This can have a great emotional impact and have massive legal ramifications to understand. When this tragedy, unfortunately, becomes a reality, several processes are necessary to move forward.
What is Legal Paternity?
Biological and legal paternity are two separate entities in a court of law. Biological paternity determines the circumstances of birth for a child, their background, and their family tree. On the other hand, legal paternity is the responsibility of a parent to ensure the safety, well-being, and care that a child deserves. It also gives a father legal protections and rights to that child as a byprocess.
Some of the protections and decision-making rights that legal paternity provides are:
- A child’s medical treatments
- Their religious upbringing
- Educational decisions
- Driver’s licenses
- Enlistment in the military
- Marriage before the age of 18
A father with legal paternity has rights to all of the above and more, which include the living situation wherein a child resides. The living situation is something that determines how much each party needs to pay in support of the child’s well-being.
If you have signed the birth certificate for your child, then the legal situation can be difficult to traverse. In regards to the law, when you sign the birth certificate, you are notifying the state that you are the child’s legal father. Taking a paternity test in court can nullify this certificate in some situations but can occasionally be denied.
Challenging Legal Paternity
If the biological father is not a child’s legal father, changes to the legal paternity of a child must be done by court order. Thankfully, any involved party can begin the process. However, an adjudicated father cannot simply abandon a child. The court will not allow this, as the lawful presence of both parents aids a child’s well-being. The courts are always looking to decide cases in the child’s best interest, not necessarily the parental figures. If you do not have a replacement for your legal paternity, the case likely will not be ruled In your favor.
Contact an Attorney If You Are Not The Biological Parent
Another time to contact a legal professional would be in the event that one parent, for reasons unknown, doesn’t believe that allowing the biological father to take over the role as a parent’s legal guardian would be in the child’s best interest. In this case, a legal professional can help determine if that reason meets a court’s standards. If you are seeking further information on how to adjudicate your role as a child’s parent, then the assistance of a legal professional Is essential for navigating the courtroom. Our experts at Thompson Law will be more than happy to explain, assist, and intervene on your behalf. Contact us today, and we will be happy to assist you.