In this article, our Des Moines paternity attorneys explain Iowa Paternity Law. When a child is born to a married couple, the husband is automatically considered the legal father, and the rights of the mother and father are clear. If a child is born to an unmarried couple, there are three ways to establish paternity in the state of Iowa. The first option is for the couple to fill out a “paternity affidavit” form, which is commonly provided by the hospital in which the child is born. Another option is to have paternity established via a paternity order issued by the Iowa Department of Human Services (Office of Child Support Recovery Services, or CSRA) or a judge of the circuit court. The final option is for the couple to get married, but this must occur before the arrival of the baby for paternity to be legally established with no further action required.