Something that can lead to a lot of headache and heartache for parents of young children is the issue of parentage. When it is unclear who is the biological father of a child, or when parentage is called into question, genetic testing and other processes are often necessary.

Understanding parentage and how it is determined can help ease the process if you find yourself in the middle of a challenging situation where parentage is being questioned.

Here are five things to know about determining parentage.

  1. There is certain legal paperwork that acknowledges and determines the parentage of a child. These include a Birth Certificate, an Acknowledgement of Paternity, or a Denial of Paternity.
  2. If you sign any of the above documents or others, it is important to know what you’re signing and the long term consequences of what you’re signing. Each document has different implications and can have a life-changing impact.
  3. Consider requesting genetic testing before the birth of a child. There are certain procedures available during pregnancy or immediately after birth that can confirm the biological father of the child.
  4. You may need to go to court. If there is not an agreement between the mother and alleged father to pursue genetic testing, you can go to the court and have them order genetic testing during pregnancy or after the birth.
  5. After genetic testing is completed, you may wait 4-6 weeks for your result, according to the Texas Attorney General, so be prepared to wait for over a month until you can know the parentage of your child with certainty.

Navigating the issue of paternity and parentage can be confusing and challenging. If you have questions or concerns, it is important to speak with an attorney about your options.

At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.