It’s very common to have questions about paternity during pregnancy and many hospitals require Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP). Searching for and finding answers to your concerns can have both physical, emotional, and financial benefits for both you and your unborn child.
Why Is Establishing Paternity Important with Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP)?
Establishing paternity is important to ensure the wellbeing of your child; It can also help protect his or her future.
Determining a biological relationship is important for several reasons:
To establish legal and social benefits, including social security, veteran’s, and inheritance benefits. It also provides an accurate medical history for the child, giving the healthcare provider important information to diagnose and manage your child’s health. Establishing paternity can also provide the opportunity for your child to have a positive relationship with his or her father.
After the birth of the child, the majority of states have laws that require an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form to be completed at the hospital to legally establish who the child’s father is. After the form is signed, couples have a limited amount of time, depending on the state, to request a DNA paternity test and amend the AOP. This form is filed becomes a legally binding document and is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
If the allowed time to amend and change the AOP expires, the father listed as the AOP on the birth certificate could be held legally responsible for the child, even if he later proves that he is not the biological father.
Some states require an unmarried couple to have a paternity test in order to list a father’s name on the birth certificate. If the mother is married to someone other than the father of the child, the husband can be listed on the birth certificate as the legal father, unless otherwise disputed by a paternity test.
If you need a paternity test to ensure the right man is named as the father, call the DNA Clinic at 800-831-0178.