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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:

  1. 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....
  2. Before the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother married each other although, the marriage could be declared invalid.
  3. 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.
  4. He receives the child into his home and openly holds out the child as his natural child.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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