The Importance of Establishing Paternity

The establishment of paternity- the process whereby a man is determined to be a child’s biological and legal father- is extremely important for biological parents who were not married at the time of the child’s birth. Missouri law presumes that a child born to a married man and woman is the child of that man and woman. The husband will be legally recognized as the child’s father. However, this same presumption is not afforded to unwed fathers. Generally, at the hospital after a child’s birth, both parents acknowledge the paternity of the child by signing an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. [...]