My girlfriend and I conceived a child 1 month after we started going out. She tells me the unborn baby is mine, but I would like to confirm this through a DNA test. She is currently 5 months pregnant. I have been told that signing the birth certificate is a legal binding document declaring that the signer is the father, and may be responsible for child support even if the child isn't the offspring of the signer.
It is possible to get a DNA test completed while your girlfriend is still pregnant. If you have any doubts I would consider this to be the best time to eliminate any questions. If you sign the birth certificate, it is not necessarily a declaration of paternity. If you find out after the fact you are not the bio dad, you can always pleas she was your girlfriend, and she represented to you the child was yours. You did not believe she was cheating so you had no reason to doubt it.
What you want to avoid is becoming the presumed parent. That is taking the role of father, developing a bond with the child, and participating in the financial support of the child. The longer you do this, the worse your case is. In any circumstance do not let the baby reach two years of age before you get DNA results. The two year marker is a point of very unlikely return.
Best not to sign a Declaration of Parentage when the child is born, but do schedule a DNA test right away. Don't hold the child out as yours or support it or act as if you are the father until after you have the results of that DNA test. If you fail to have the DNA test and act like the father and support the child as if you were the father, then you may become the presumed father. The deadline to challenge paternity is 2 years, but you should have the paternity test immediately to avoid unnecessary legal complications.
Interesting that you said you and your girlfriend conceived a child, but you want a DNA test. If you are uncertain you are the father of the child, be careful what you say, get a DNA test now.
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