According to Illinois law, biological fathers are not automatically considered legal fathers of their children if they are not married or in a civil legal union at the time of the child’s birth. This is the case even if both parents live together or plan to marry. In other words, a father will not have grounds to pursue custody until he establishes paternity.
If you wish to establish paternity in DuPage County, Illinois, here are some ways you can do so:
Acknowledgment of Paternity
If both parents agree on the biological father's identity, they can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form. This can be done right after the birth of a child at the hospital so that the father’s name can be added to the birth certificate after the form is filed through the DHFS.
Besides the hospital, you can also get a VAP form from the Department of Human Services, a County Clerk, or a local child support facility.
Court Ordered Paternity
If the parents disagree on paternity or the identity of the child's father, or if one refuses to sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity form, the decision is left to the court. This may include DNA testing and the appearance of both parents in court.
Besides these two methods, fathers who wish to establish paternity of children born out of wedlock can register with the Putative Fathers Registry. The registry is designed to protect their rights and will notify them if the mother puts up the child for adoption or is involved in any other legal proceedings regarding them.
Administrative Paternity Order
Paternity can also be established through an Administrative Paternity Order from the Illinois Department of Child Support Services. The DCSS may require DNA testing to confirm that the presumed father is in fact the child’s biological father. DNA testing is a non-invasive, simple procedure involving a swab of the inside of the father’s mouth. Genetic paternity testing is extremely accurate.
Contact a Paternity Rights Attorney in DuPage County
If you have concerns about a paternity-related issue, contact a DuPage County paternity lawyer at Andrew Cores Family Law Group. Book a free consultation by dialing 630-871-1002. We can help you understand your rights as per Illinois law.