The Buckeye State is found in the heart of the Midwest, featuring large cities including, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Home to more than 10 million Americans, Ohio also has bucolic farms, historic sites and sprawling suburbs. If you were born in Ohio, then there are certain state laws that apply to you. One law involves paternity and the establishment of the same for people that need to know.
In Ohio, the child born to a woman is also married, means that the husband is the father. Or at least it is presumed to be so. Like any presumption, it is subject to a legal challenge, one that can undertaken in juvenile court. It is at this point where the court may rule for or against paternity. That determination follows genetic testing, specifically DNA testing.
Mothers who are unmarried when the child is born can determine paternity in Ohio through a child support enforcement agency or by means of a juvenile court action. But first, an administrative proceeding must be accomplished. This is where DNA testing is conducted to prove or disprove paternity.
In Ohio, the father can affirm paternity by filling out a legal-size, dark-tinged form offerred by the Child Support Enforcement Agency in his area. Either method gives the father legal standing to claim parenting and the custodial rights that come with it. That form can be filled out at the hospital as soon as the baby is born or after the fact.
You should also know that your claim of fatherhood will only be accepted if both you and the bio mom swear under oath that you are the dad. It is important that you work with an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and your wishes followed as you establish paternity advises the DNA Diagnostic Center.
Some fathers make the mistake of not confirming paternity scientifically. Without DNA testing, doubt will always remain that you are the father. Moreover, your legal standing with this child will be affirmed. Keep in mind that once you consent to DNA testing and the test comes back positive, then you cannot later tell the court that you are not the father. Your prior statement affirming same and subsequent testing has confirmed the matter. It is now a closed matter, one that is chiseled in stone.
You should know that you have a choice in how paternity tests are taken. You can take the test through a state agency or you can order private testing through an independent laboratory. Yet, an official paternity ruling is only established through court order or by state of Ohio administrative action.
For some fathers, establishing paternity in Ohio is important, especially if they want to preserve their rights as the biological father. On the one hand, you will be responsible for child support. On the other hand, your visitation rights can be upheld. Once paternity has been established on your behalf, then you can prevent the child from being adopted by someone else. You can also request a hearing to prevent this child from moving out of your jurisdiction without your consent.
To sum up, if you want to establish and protect your rights as a father, then you need court action to affirm same. Without such legal backing in Ohio than putative fathers such as yourself have no legal standing in the way that this child is provide for.