Marriage isn't for everyone and it is not uncommon for children to be born out of wedlock. This needn't be a problem as, after all, parents can love their children just as much whether they're married or not. However, it is important for unmarried parents to be aware of their rights, as they may find their marital status affects their legal relationship with their children. This is particularly important for fathers, as they may find that they need to prove their paternity status.
According to the Texas Attorney General, a child born to unmarried parents in Texas is considered to have no legal father. This can affect the child's eligibility for benefits such as Social Security and even hinder the biological father obtaining visitation rights. However, it is possible to avoid such problems by establishing paternity. This can be done once the child is born by submitting an Acknowledgment of Paternity.
Once this has been filed, the man in question can be considered the child's legal father. Establishing paternity means that his name can be placed on the child's birth certificate, he can be granted custody rights and he may be required to pay child support. It also means that medical professionals can consult the father's medical history if the child becomes ill. This can assist doctors in deciding how to treat him or her.
Of course, not all fathers wish to acknowledge their paternity, while some may doubt it altogether. Furthermore, if the child's mother is married to another man that man is required to sign a Denial of Paternity before the child's biological father can obtain legal parental rights. It is not always an easy process, especially if parents disagree on what should be done.
Ultimately, every child has the right to loving parents, whether they are biological or otherwise. If you are concerned about proving paternity, or you have any other concerns about your parental rights, an attorney may be able to offer the support and advice you need. With the right guidance, you may be able to work toward securing an outcome in the best interests of yourself and your child.