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Can i get fathers rights if i have a dna test of my child.

Midland, MI |

If the father didn't sign the birth certificate because he thought it wasn't his kid, and it really WAS his kid, and his baby's mother's new husband signed the birth certificate. The mother knew it was his child but lied and hasn't let him see him for a year now. Is there anyway the real father could get a DNA test to prove that it was his kid, would he be able to get any fathers rights if he took it to court.

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Attorney answers 3


I am not licensed to practice in your state, but I suspect the law will be similar.

The birth certificate is a presumption, but it can usually be rebutted.

Under most states, abandonment is a basis for terminating parental rights. If the dad knows he has a child out there, and does nothing, he could end up having his rights terminated by doing nothing.

He should immediately file a petition to establish paternity and a parenting plan. He should get a lawyer.

Depending on the laws of the state, it is likely that a new birth certificate can be issued after paternity is established.

It is important that he takes action and consults with a qualified family law attorney in your state.


The answer to your question will depend heavily on when the mother married her new husband. You cannot file a paternity action to gain your valuable rights as a father if the child was conceived or born during the mother's marriage, unless there has been a prior court determination that the child was not a product of that marriage. Typically such a determination would come following a divorce action in which the husband would have to prove non-paternity by clear and convincing evidence to avoid child support. However, as the punitive father there is no proceeding that you can initiate to receive such a determination. This is what is known as the "presumption of paternity," which creates an overwhelming presumption that the husband is the father. The presumption was intended to ensure that children would be guaranteed support, but it often has the unfortunate effect of blocking biological fathers from having rights to their children.

Otherwise, you can simply file a paternity suit and a DNA test can be ordered as a part of that action. I have posted a link to the self-help guide on Michigan paternity actions below.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights.


P.S. Mr. Harris is wrong as far as Michigan law goes.

The birth certificate does not create a presumption. In 2006, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that the biological father could not bring a paternity action under the following facts: (1) Mother is married to Husband when she becomes pregnant with Father's baby; (2) Husband (without knowing about the pregnancy) files for divorce BEFORE the baby is born; (3) Mother never shows up at court, so a default Judgment of Divorce is entered; (4) because Mother never came to court neither the Husband nor the Court found out about the pregnancy, so the Judgment of Divorce stated that there were no children of the marriage; (5) AFTER the divorce is final the baby is born and the Father signs the birth certificate and an acknowledgment of paternity; (6) Mother and Father never marry, but live together and raise baby for 4 years; (7) Mother and Father breakup and Mother refuses to let Father see baby; (8) Father files paternity suit.

The Court essentially ruled that Husband was the baby's legal father and that Father (the actual biological father) had no standing to bring a paternity action (meaning no parental rights) even though he was on the birth certificate! The Court even ruled that the default Judgment of Divorce, which said that there were no children between the Husband and Mother, was NOT a determination that the baby was not of a product of the marriage because the Husband did not actually prove that the child was not his by clear and convincing evidence (remember-husband didn't even know about baby)! The effect of this case was that Husband is now legally responsible for a baby that is not his and Father is cut from the life of HIS child, whom he was actually raising.

Barnes v Jeudevine, 475 Mich 696; 718 NW2d 311 (2006)

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