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Voluntary Paternity Determinations

The establishment of paternity need not always conjure up images of court battles and adversity. A father may be very willing to support a child, but simply wants to ensure that he is indeed the biological parent. He may want a judicial determination before he commits to making child support payments or playing an emotionally-committed supportive role in the child’s life.

Other fathers believe they have been unjustly denied knowledge of, or access to, children they may have fathered. This may occur following a contentious parting of ways between parents, and the mother wants no further involvement or contact with the father, and does not want the father involved in the child’s life.

Finally, some men fear that they may not learn until years later (and perhaps at an inopportune time) that they have fathered a child. To ensure against this, men may wish to voluntarily submit to DNA testing and (in limited circumstances) compel women with whom they have had prior sexual contact to undergo a pregnancy test. (Generally, only a man alleging that he is the father of an expected child has legal standing to initiate a paternity action.) This brings closure to the relationship, and men know their future lives will not be unexpectedly jolted by news of having fathered children unknown to them.

Inside Voluntary Paternity Determinations