If a child is born who may be yours, you, as the father, should seek a paternity test. A paternity test allows you to legally establish that you are or are not the father of that child. You do not have to obtain this test to acknowledge paternity, but if you’re unclear if you are the father, then it’s a good idea to request it.
You have the option of filling out a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity if you are not married to the child’s mother and no other man is listed as the father on the birth certificate. You also have the option to seek a Court Order of Paternity to establish yourself as the rightful father of the child.
If you’re married, do you have to establish paternity?
You do not. In Illinois, you are assumed to be the father of a child who is born to a married couple. However, you do have the option to ask for a paternity test if you believe that the child is not yours. If you plan to do this, it consider contacting your attorney and asking for a DNA test.
Can you reverse a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity?
There are times when you can reverse the VAP, but it’s harder to do so after you sign it. You can complete a Rescission of VAP within two months (60 days) of signing the original VAP. If it has been longer than this, you will need to work with the court and file a Motion to Vacate the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. This is usually only granted in rare circumstances, which is why it’s better to wait to sign the VAP until you are certain you’re the father.