What is an acknowledgment of Paternity?
Acknowledgment of paternity is a legal contract that determines the rights of a father over his son. It is usually made between a couple that is not in a marital relationship. This agreement guarantees that the child will receive support money. His educational and living expenses will be covered by the paternal father till the child is of legal age.
Points to be considered before signing a paternity agreement.
- Before the biological parents sign the paternity agreement, they should be made aware of all the outcomes and legal binding of the contract. All consequences of signing the document can be conveyed through a document or through oral briefing of the couple. The document must be signed by both parents and witnesses too in some cases. If either party tries to dishonor the contract by not abiding to it anytime in the future, they can be challenged in the court.
- It is advisable that a lawyer may be hired before any such contracts are signed. A lawyer better understands the legal standing of such cases and will help the parents understand the situation on judiciary terms. A counsellor’s services can also be hired through the lawyer for any supportive service the parents might need.
- The document may also include any contingency points for example what if a third party challenges the paternity of the child in the future? In this case, proper court proceedings and confirmatory tests can be carried out to determine the identity of the child in question. All these points can be mentioned beforehand on the paternity document after discussing with your lawyer.
- While signing a paternity agreement confirms the man as the legal parent of the child, it does not guarantee the child’s custody. If the man wants to claim the custody of the child, he must contact a lawyer and proceed the case through the court of law.
- The agreement should state full names of both the parents and the child, city, complete address and birth certificate of the child as well.
Why does paternity need to be acknowledged?
A question may arise of why a paternity acknowledgment is needed. This contract ensures that a child is given his due rights and he has access to a good education through his father’s finances. Moreover, confirmed paternity gives a sense of security to the child and a feeling of belonging to a family even if the parents don’t live together.
Following is an example of a letter acknowledging paternity.
Dear Mr./Ms. [XYZ]
I, (state your full name) am of legal age (age) and have (ABC Citizenship) and my current address is (State full address). I, in a sound state of mind and having duly sworn in by the accordance of law, hereby declare that I am the biological father of (full name of the baby). The child was born on 20th March 20XX and at 07 00 hours at the [X] international Hospital, Chicago.
I declare that the mother of the child and I were married when the child was born but we no longer live together. No DNA test has been conducted to confirm the paternity of the child however, I give permission to take my sample if any paternity testing is required.
I acknowledge my paternity to the child (state full name) and accept them as my own biological child. Also, I declare them a legal heir to my inheritance. In addition, I agree to fully support my child’s financial expenses and to pay for his education up until his college. I am willing to pay weekly visits to my son and send financial support to the mother monthly. I further agree to let the child use my surname. I also agree to let the court of law decide which parent to grant the child’s custody.
Signatures of the father.
Signature of the notary.
Signatures of witness.