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Why Paternity Testing Isn’t Just for Child Support Enforcement

There are several different types of family services that are in high demand across the country including divorce services, determining adoption and child parenting time guidelines, identifying paternity, and more. While paternity is often thought of as a way for a woman to hold accountable a man for his part in creating a life, this can be true, but not always. Sometimes, a mother does not want to establish paternity for many reasons.

Considering that as of 2016, as high as 40 percent of births in the United States happen outside of marriage, there are many family situations where determining paternity could be necessary. This data comes by way of the research organization Child Trends which focuses on bettering youth lives, specifically those that are vulnerable.

Paternity testing is not always a straight shot forward and there can be hurdles along the way, including an uncooperative female counterpart. Residents of Illinois have options to help them identify who the biological parents of children are when there is doubt or uncertainty.

If you suspect you are the father of a child where paternity has not been confirmed, and you want answers, the Wheaton fathers’ rights lawyers at Keller Legal Services can thoroughly review your case and outline all your legal options.

Illinois Definition of a Fatherhood

A male need not be married to a female to be considered a father in the state of Illinois. Fatherhood, actually, is a presumption of a relationship. If there is a male in a serious intimate relationship with a female like a legal marriage or a civil union, for example, fatherhood is believed to exist for the male when a baby is born to the female. Also, if a woman gives birth and then there is a similar partnership with a male that exists within 300 days of her baby’s birth, then this too would be thought of as fatherhood for the male.

Still, the presumption of fatherhood does not automatically mean the presumed father has the right to put their information on a child’s birth certificate. It takes a paternity test showing that the male in the relationship is the true, biological father in the absence of a marriage or a civil union between a male and female. In other words, even the most committed couple who are planning for the future together could face a situation where the male may have to have paternity confirmed before he can be named the child’s legal father.

Benefits of Fatherhood

There is certainly an immense amount of responsibility to being a parent. This is true for both fathers and mothers. Children are best-taken care of physically, emotionally, and financially when both parents are legally identified and bear the duties of caring for their children. Even if the parents are not together in a romantic way, healthful and cooperative co-parenting by both parties benefits the children substantially more so than if only one parent has to raise the children alone and without any assistance.

For children, the following benefits are noteworthy:

  • Child support payments bolster financial stability
  • Children are able to obtain their full inheritance rights
  • Assistance with health and life insurance can take care of children’s wellbeing
  • Should a tragedy happen and a parent die or become debilitated, children may be able to obtain much-needed social security benefits

Beyond the financial advantages to having both parents in a child’s life, there are the developmental and psychological aspects that are also quite valuable. For both parents, building that solid bond with their children benefits the children immensely, but also is rewarding for the parents too. And, each parent has a right to get to know their child and develop a strong, profound connection to them.

When two parents are not tied together through a legal union or have a relationship with each other, maintaining those rights to their biological children is critical. If a mother wants to keep her children away from their father, unless there are viable grounds for that like safety issues, for instance, the father has a right to his children. He can see them and it is possible that he can even have custody.

Further, a child that knows where they come from is an important part of understanding their history and can help them maintain a sense of deep-rooted identity. This can also play a role in their personal confidence. But also, knowing who each biological parent is, allows a child to understand their heredity and genealogy. This can play a major role in their health status and potential susceptibility to certain disease conditions.

The value of determining a biological father is of the utmost importance. No male should be denied his right for accessing his children. In some cases, a man trying to stay in a child’s life can only be confirmed by means of paternity testing.

When there is doubt as to if you are the rightful biological father of your children, do not feel as if obtaining access to them and confirming your role in their life is a task you must tackle alone. The Wheaton fathers’ rights attorney at Keller Legal Services can support you through the process.

Legal Approaches to Establishing Paternity in Illinois

When biological fatherhood is in question in Illinois, there are legal remedies to find the answers. These include:

  • A man can complete a form known as the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, otherwise known as the VAP form. For fathers that truly do not know that the child is their own, it is typically not recommended to submit the VAP form. The reason for this is to protect their interests in the event the child is not their biological offspring. In these cases, fathers that want to be sure can do a genetic paternity test before making this commitment and accepting the incredibly important and momentous role. Though, when there is no doubt, the father can fill out the form after a child is born and typically, staff in the hospital can help him through it. The form will then go to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and then, the father’s information can be listed on the child’s birth certificate.
  • If a female wants to get child support from a man who she alleges is the father of her child, she can obtain an Administrative Paternity Order. The father, receiving the order, will be entered into the state’s system regulating child support if a paternity test shows that he is the actual biological father.
  • If there are issues getting a paternity test for any reason, a court order may be applicable. This can also use DNA testing to establish paternity.

Illinois Father’s Rights & Paternity Testing

Males who believe that they are the legitimate and biological father of children are not without their rights. It is not uncommon for males to feel disheartened and dispirited when establishing their rightful role as a parent to their children. The misconception is that a male’s rights to fatherhood fall short of those rights that the mother has. For Legal matters, men can often think that there their ability to secure a favorable outcome with respect to their children and in terms of money is always at a disadvantage.

This could not be further from the truth. With seasoned and dedicated legal counsel on your side, you can make a strong case for asserting your rights to your children and also a compelling argument regarding finances associated with them. The Illinois father’s rights attorneys at Keller Legal Services, make it a staunch mission to protect the interests of fathers to their children. So much so, that Keller Legal Services has dedicated a whole portion of the firm’s practice to father’s rights alone.

For more than three decades, the attorneys at Keller Legal Services have been fighting on behalf of aggrieved fathers throughout the state of Illinois. Fathers in the state of Illinois can benefit from the legal counsel offered at Keller Legal Services through a variety of  services including:

  • Child support
  • Paternity
  • DNA testing
  • Removal litigation
  • Post-divorce modifications
  • Post-divorce enforcement of orders and contempt
  • Child custody
  • Child visitation

 Paternity Test Accuracy

Paternity testing is a trusted and reliable method for showing that you are the rightful biological father to your children. This testing can validate your rights to be with your children and be an active part of their lives. Paternity testing is not a complicated test, nor is it invasive. You can establish paternity through an easy blood test or a quick cheek swab and the results are almost undeniably, 100 percent correct.

Even before a child is born there are options to identify paternity. While a child is still in the womb, there could be avenues available that can establish paternity early on before birth.

In total, fathers have options to claim their rights as a parent. Understanding those rights is another story. To learn more, it is crucial for you and your child’s wellbeing that you have the most experienced and aggressive legal representation on your side. Keller Legal Services takes pride in offering high-quality father’s rights legal services to men in Illinois.

Speak to a Wheaton Fathers’ Rights Lawyer Today

Reclaiming your rights to your children can be challenging, but the good news is you do not have to approach that legal battle by yourself. Call the Chicago fathers’ rights lawyers at Keller Legal Services to schedule your free consultation today at 630-505-1515.