Paternity can be established through a court action. If the parents were unmarried when the child was born, and they both signed a Recognition of Parentage (ROP), and the fatherís name is on the birth certificate, there is a presumption that the father named on both documents is the father. If you did not sign a ROP and/or your name does not appear on the child's birth certificate, you may not be the child's legal father. If the mother of the child was married to another man when the child was born, her husband is presumed to be the legal father unless and until the court determines otherwise.
The father of a child born out of wedlock does not have custodial rights until his rights and obligations are determined in a court order. Genetic testing may be required to determine paternity or when there are competing presumptions as to who the legal father is.
If you are the father of a child born out of wedlock, it is imperative that you beging the paternity process as soon as possible. Delaying the paternity process may cause you to lose your rights as a father to your child.