For a mother, there is no question of whether a newborn child is hers or not. However, the matter is not always so straightforward for fathers. If a baby is conceived between relationships, or if a father has doubts that the child is his, DNA testing may be requested. This can be fairly important, as in New York, the issue of paternity can greatly affect a parent's rights and obligations.
By establishing paternity, the father gains the right to apply for custody and visitation of his child. It also highlights his obligation to support his child and allows mothers to challenge the father for child support. It can be helpful for both parents and especially the child, by removing doubt and ensuring that both birth parents are aware of their obligations.
In recent news, Grammy-nominated Mexican singer Cristian Castro learned of the birth of a baby girl to his ex-girlfriend. The child's mother is certain that the little girl was fathered by the singer, but he has requested a paternity test to be sure. Nevertheless, he said he is prepared to adhere to his paternal responsibilities if he is determined to be the father.
If the tests come back positive, the baby girl will be Castro’s third child. However, his doubts arose as to the correct identity of the father with information that the infant was conceived in the period during which he was breaking up with the child's mother. The singer has indicated that there is little chance that the baby’s mother and he would ever marry.
Parents in New York can learn from Castro’s example. It is not unusual to request a paternity test when circumstances surrounding a birth are unclear. If you need help establishing the paternity of your alleged child, or understanding what will happen if you are found to be the father, you are not alone. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the process and advise you on what to expect.
Source: The Latino Post, "Cristian Castro's Possible Daughter Is Born, He'll Be Taking Paternity Test," Yara Simón, April 14, 2014