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Kevin O'Flaherty

Developing paternity, or identifying the legal father of a child, is an important process that benefits both the child and the parents. In the state of Indiana, there are numerous methods to develop paternity, consisting of voluntary acknowledgment, DNA screening, and court orders. In this post, we will go over each of these methods in detail and the advantages of establishing paternity. It is always wise to speak with an Indiana family law attorney to help you navigate establishing paternity.

Why is Establishing Paternity Important?

Establishing paternity supplies lots of benefits for kids, mothers, and fathers. For children, it gives them access to vital benefits such as child support, Social Security benefits, and inheritance. In addition, it supplies them with emotional and psychological advantages such as a sense of identity and a relationship with their biological father. For mothers, establishing paternity allows them to seek child support from the biological father, which can help offset the expenses of raising a child. It can also give them peace of mind knowing who their kid's father is, potentially leading to a co-parenting relationship. For fathers, developing paternity offers them with legal rights to their kids, consisting of custody and visitation. It likewise permits them to develop a relationship with their kid and take an active role in their upbringing. For more general information on paternity read our article, Paternity Law Explained.

Techniques of Establishing Paternity in Indiana

There are numerous ways to establish paternity in Indiana, consisting of voluntary acknowledgment, genetic testing, and court order.

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) is a legal process in Indiana that enables single parents to establish the paternity of a child. This process includes the biological father voluntarily acknowledging that he is the kid's father. The VAP process is a simple way to establish paternity in Indiana. It can be completed at the healthcare facility after the child's birth or at a later time. Both parents need to sign the VAP in the presence of a notary public or other licensed individual.Once the VAP form is signed and notarized, it is submitted with the Indiana State Department of Health. The father's name is then added to the child's birth certificate, and he is lawfully acknowledged as the child's dad. It is essential to note that the VAP procedure lawfully acknowledges paternity and can not be revoked except in restricted scenarios. For that reason, both parents need to ensure paternity prior to signing the file.  It permits the parents to establish a legal relationship with their child, potentially causing a co-parenting relationship. For frequently asked question on VAP read our short article, frequently asked questions on Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage/Paternity.

Paternity Test Tube

DNA Testing

In Indiana, genetic screening can be used to develop paternity if the biological father is unidentified or if paternity remains in disagreement. Hereditary screening involves gathering a sample of DNA from the child, mother, and alleged father. Here are the actions to take for genetic screening for paternity in Indiana:

Contact the Indiana State Department of Health: The Indiana State Department of Health administers hereditary testing for paternity. You can contact their Paternity Facility Program to set up a visit for testing.

Schedule a consultation for screening: The Indiana State Department of Health will supply information on how to set up a visit for testing. The testing will be done at a regional health department or other authorized testing site.

Gather DNA samples: DNA samples will be gathered from the child, mom, and alleged father. The samples are usually collected by swabbing the within the mouth with a cotton swab. The samples will then be sent out to a laboratory for analysis.

The outcomes: Once the testing is completed, you will get the results of the genetic screening. The outcomes will suggest whether the alleged father is the biological father of the child.If the genetic testing verifies paternity, the Indiana State Department of Health will provide an order establishing paternity. If paternity is still in dispute, either parent can file a paternity action with the court to establish paternity. It is essential to note that genetic screening for paternity can be a sensitive and emotional process. It is crucial to approach it with care and sensitivity, specifically when involving the kid.

Court Order

A court-ordered paternity action in Indiana is a legal process that permits a person to establish paternity of a kid through a court order. This process is usually utilized when the biological father is not known or when there is a disagreement regarding paternity. Here are the steps involved in a court-ordered paternity action in Indiana:

Filing a paternity action: The initial step in a court-ordered paternity action is to file a petition with the court. This petition will include details about the kid, the mom, and the alleged father. The petitioner might be the mom, the alleged father, or an agent of the child, such as a guardian or custodian.

Serving the petition: Once the petition is filed, it should be served on the mother and the alleged father. This is normally done through a process server or certified mail.

Reacting to the petition: The mother and the alleged father have the chance to respond to the petition. If they consent to paternity, they can sign a stipulation agreement. If they disagree, they may request genetic testing to establish paternity. Genetic testing: If genetic testing is asked for, DNA samples will be gathered from the kid, mother, and alleged father. The results will answer whether the alleged father is the child's biological father. The testing will be done at a regional health department or other authorized screening site.

Court hearing: If the alleged father is found to be the biological father, the court will set up a hearing to develop paternity. The hearing will generally involve testimony from the parties involved, and the court will provide an order developing paternity. When paternity is established through a court order, the father will have legal rights and obligations, consisting of the commitment to offer financial support for the child and the right to develop a parenting plan.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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