Blood tests
Blood tests may be used to exclude some men from being the fathers of some children. There are four main blood types: A, B, AB (A-B), and O. When two people have a child together, their blood types determine the blood type of their child.
Children's rights
All children have the right to know who both of their parents are. If a child is born to parents who aren't married or who are no longer involved with one another by the time the child is born, the child may not know who his or her father is.
Establishing paternity
'Paternity' means fatherhood. 'Establishing paternity' means identifying the father of a child and legally determining that he is the father. Establishing paternity recognizes a father's rights and responsibilities.
Father's rights
The biological father's rights include having his name on the child's birth certificate, shared parental responsibility, the right to request custody, and the right to request visitation.
Legitimacy and paternity
A child is considered legitimate if his or her parents were married at the time he or she was born. If a child's parents aren't married at the time the child is born, the parents should both sign a 'voluntary statement of paternity,' which will place the father's name on the child's birth certificate and legally make him the child's father.
Mother's rights
In most states, both parents of a child have equal rights and responsibilities for supporting and raising a child. When a child is born in wedlock, the law automatically recognizes the husband as being the father.
Visitation/custody/support rights
When a child is born to parents who aren't married, the father must sign a 'voluntary statement of paternity' to establish that he is the child's father.
What is paternity?
'Paternity' means fatherhood. 'Establishing paternity' means identifying the father of a child, legally determining he is the father, and recognizing the father's rights and responsibilities.


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