How wonderful that you want to step up and be a father to your daughter.
In order to accomplish this, you will need to retain an attorney who is experienced in family law matters in Harris County courts. One step will be to order you as well as the mother and child, to submit to DNA testing...simple cheek swab.
If no father is listed on the chld's birth certificate and no one else has adopted the child, then there is no presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father and you will not be barred by the statute of limitations (Texas Family Code 160.606). However, if there is a presumed father, then there is a time limitation for you to file (on or before the child's fourth birthday).
You really do need to consult with an attorney soon.
I hope the information I have provided is helpful.
Any communication through the AVVO site with Sherrie Travers or any individual member of the firm, Travers & Travers, does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. Any information given by Sherrie Travers or by any individual member of the firm through the AVVO site is general information and should not be relied on as legal advice. This answer is based upon limited information and is not intended to be conclusive in your circumstances as there may be other factors that might change or alter the advice given herein. Confidential or time-sensitive information should be conducted in person with an attorney.
Hire an attorney. A dna test can be compelled in many cases. If it is your child, there will be orders for child support and visitation.
This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.
I agree with Attorneys Travers and Lowry. You should hire a lawyer to assist you in this matter.
My response herein is an attempt to give you general information and direction and is not intended to constitute an attorney-client relationship as perceived by state law.
You can file a Voluntary Paternity Suit and a DNA test will be ordered. However, if you cannot find any record of the child it is possible that she has been adopted and your parental rights terminated.
This does not establish an attorney/client relationship