Becoming a father is less certain than becoming a mother. A woman has a direct physical connection to her child, while a father may have to make assumptions based on the date of conception and the relationship he has with the mother.
Married fathers are usually the legal fathers of any child born to their wife, but things are less clear for unmarried fathers. Typically, they need to establish paternity if they want to play a role in the life of their child. How does a father establish paternity in Kentucky?
With the cooperation of the mother
It is possible for a married father to acknowledge his paternity rights after the birth. Provided that the mother agrees to acknowledge him, they can fill out paperwork together at the hospital and have his name included on the birth certificate.
The option of working together to establish paternity doesn’t end when the mother and child come home from the hospital. As long as the child is a minor, the parents can agree to execute a paternity affidavit that acknowledges the father.
Without the cooperation of the mother
When a man has reasonable cause to believe he is the father of a child but the mother will not acknowledge him or cooperate with him, he may need to initiate proceedings in the family courts. The courts can order genetic testing that can establish conclusively whether a father has a biological relationship to the child or not.
Establishing paternity is the first step for a father who wants parenting time or any of the other rights that come with the creation of new life.