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How is paternity established?

When a baby is born in Kentucky, there is no doubt as to who the mother is, but the same cannot be said for the father. If you are the father of a child and need to establish paternity, Kentucky.com explains you have a few options. You can either establish it voluntarily or go through the court system.

A voluntary admission of paternity just requires that you sign a paper saying you acknowledge that you are the child's father. You can do this at the child support office, in the hospital or at the health department. You can also voluntarily establish paternity in court if it is not contested. However, if the mother says you are not the father, then you may need to have the court order a genetic test or DNA test. 

The test uses samples from you, the mother and the child, so you must have the compliance of the mother, which is why the court may need to be involved even if you are admitting you are the father. Getting a DNA test is a good idea if there is any doubt of paternity because it will provide concrete evidence of whether you are or are not the father. 

If you deny that you are the father, then you will probably end up being ordered to go to court. If you receive papers saying you must show up in court for a paternity case, then you need to go. If you fail to go, the court can issue a default ruling that makes you the legal father of the child. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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