It Depends on How Much Time Has Passed
Video Transcribed: My name is Attorney Jason Lile, and I am an Oklahoma Fathers Rights lawyer. And I wanted to answer the question of what happens if you have a child or children and you’re not on their birth certificates?
The answer is it depends. It’s a good lawyering answer, right? It depends on how much time has passed and what the circumstances were. But the remedy is often the same, which is that you need to file a paternity lawsuit. Yes, it’s a lawsuit. You need to bring a paternity action in the jurisdiction that is appropriate. And what you are asking the court to do in a paternity lawsuit is to make a judicial determination of paternity.
Well, how do they do that? Well, either the parties can stipulate, or if the mother refuses to stipulate that that’s your child or those are your children, then you can take and ask the court to do genetic testing. Now, if you ask for genetic testing, you need to be prepared for the answer.
The answer might be that’s not your child and maybe you’ve thought it was for quite some time. And suppose you’re not on the birth certificate and you didn’t sign a document called an acknowledgment of paternity, once that court determines that’s not your child. In that case, you are no longer able to seek visitation and custody rights over that child, except through something like adoption, which is a much longer road to haul.
The second thing you need to be prepared for is that, to do genetic testing, there’s another man in that child’s life. If there’s another man in that child’s life just informally and has been for a while, the court has to take that child’s best interests into consideration by undermining that father-child relationship with genetic testing. And this is especially problematic if that other man has signed an acknowledgment of paternity, as I spoke of earlier.
An acknowledgment of paternity is a simple one-page document where the mother and the alleged father sign a document saying, “We acknowledge this child is this man’s and this woman’s.” Once two years have passed where another man has been on an acknowledgment of paternity, you cannot legally undo that.
The law in Oklahoma right now is basically saying that, for legal purposes, for child support purposes, is the father of that child. Except through a done adoption which, as I said before, is a different topic and a much longer road to haul.
So a good attorney should be able to advise you as to what needs to be accomplished for you to get on a child’s birth certificate, what paperwork needs to be filed, and what procedure is best. So for help with this or if you have any other questions about what it’s like to be in a custody case, please feel free to contact the Oklahoma father’s rights attorney or the Oklahoma Child Custody Attorney for Men at Dads.Law.