Birth Fathers' Rights
The Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), has been enacted in many states horizontally across
the country. The goal of the UPA was to remove the established differences in status
between legitimate and illegitimate children and provide equal rights for all children
regardless of the marital status of their parents.
States that have adopted the UPA as well as those that have enacted variations of the
Act usually categorize birth fathers as either "presumed" or "alleged". Presumed
fathers are those who fall under at least one of the following categories:
- He and the child's natural mother are or have been married to each other and the
child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated
by death, annulment, divorce....
- Before the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother married each other
although, the marriage could be declared invalid.
- After the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have married although the marriage is or could be declared invalid and,
- With his consent, he is named the child's father on the child's birth certificate, OR,
- He is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary promise or court order.
- He receives the child into his home and openly holds out the child as his natural child.
- In some states, men who have not lived with or supported a child may, nonetheless become
the presumed father by filing a written acknowledgment of paternity, which is not
challenged by the child's mother or another presumed father.
- It is not always the biological connection but the relationship with the child or the child's mother that is key
in determining the presumed father.
If a man fits into any of the above categories, he is ordinarily presumed by the court
to be the father, unless evidence is presented to the contrary that another should
receive the cigar.
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