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What should unmarried men know about paternity?

When you have a child in Kentucky, you may want to enjoy a healthy relationship with this child. If you are not married to the child's mother, the situation may sometimes be more complicated. However, there are still ways you can demonstrate that a child is your son or daughter.

The state of Kentucky has several ways of defining the relationship you have with your son or daughter. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a court might consider you to be an alleged father. This means you have not taken a paternity test but think you are a child's genetic parent. If you are a presumed father, then a court typically recognizes your relationship to the child, even if the court has not officially confirmed this family connection. Additionally, a court might call you an adjudicated father after it recognizes that you are your child's parent.

You may establish paternity in many ways in Kentucky. You might go to the court and acknowledge that a child is yours. In this situation, the child's mother usually reads off the name and social security number of your son and daughter and after hearing this information, you typically say that you are this child's father. If someone else claims that he is the child's parent, then you may need to undergo genetic testing. If this testing determines that you are the father of the baby, a court generally puts together a written order of paternity. This information is usually not made available to the public.

Additionally, you may be able to demonstrate that you are a child's legal parent if you were once married to the child's mother or if you and the child's mother were trying to get married. You might also establish paternity by demonstrating that you consider the child your son or daughter. Living with this child can also help show that you are committed to being part of your son or daughter's life. 

This information is general in nature and should not be used in place of legal advice.

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