Married fathers in North Dakota automatically have paternity rights. The hospital will put their name on the birth certificate of their wife’s new child without any extra effort. Unmarried fathers are not as fortunate.
They typically need to assert themselves if they want the state to recognize them as the father of a child or make use of their legal rights as a parent. For most people, the idea of establishing paternity conjures to mind genetic testing. Are such tests mandatory if you hope to prove that you are the biological father of a child?
Genetic testing is not always necessary
Although genetic testing is very accurate, some people have personal reservations about undergoing such tests. Thankfully, you technically do not require a genetic test to add your name to your child’s birth certificate. You only need the cooperation of the mother.
The two of you can fill out paperwork and have your name added to the birth certificate. If the mother cooperates with you, you only need to fill out and submit a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form to the appropriate state authorities to officially establish paternity. Once you do so, you will then be in a position to ask for visitation or shared custody.
The mother of your child benefits because you can offer her respite when you have shared custody, and you benefit by legally establishing your relationship with your child. The child will also benefit from having a better sense of where they come from and access to family medical information.
Learning about the process for establishing paternity can help unmarried fathers in North Dakota be more present for their children.