As is the case in other states, an unwed biological father does not automatically receive rights to his child here in Kentucky. Instead, it will be necessary to establish legal paternity in order to gain all the parental rights and responsibilities that come with fatherhood. In some cases, this is an easy task when both parents agree, but in other cases, a mother may not be willing to agree that a man is the father of her child.
When this happens, a DNA paternity test can be done in order to establish that a man is the biological father of a child, but what does that mean? Everyone has a unique genetic profile, and a child receives half of his or her genetic makeup from each parent. A test will compare the DNA of each parent to the child by matching certain markers.
The mother does not necessarily have to participate in the testing, but it would certainly make the results more accurate. In a highly contested situation, it may be necessary to obtain a court order to compel her participation and access to the child. The testing only requires a cheek swab and is then analyzed by a lab. Fathers need to be aware that not every lab’s results will be admissible in court. It is vital to make sure that the results from a particular lab qualify for use in court.
A Kentucky man who wants to be legally recognized a his child’s father, but cannot get the cooperation of the mother does have legal options, including the use of a DNA paternity test. Thereafter, issues such as child custody and child support can be resolved. Establishing paternity is not only important for the father, but for the child as well. Research shows that children who have positive relationships with both parents tend to fare better in school and in life.