Paternity is an interesting subject. When a woman gives birth to a baby, there is no question as to if that woman is the baby’s biological mother - but there is no automatic link to know who the baby’s biological father is.
Traditionally, the legal paternal rights to the baby were given to the man who was married to the baby’s mother, but in recent years more and more unmarried couples have been having children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4 percent of all babies born in the United States in 1950 were born to unmarried mothers. In 2008, about 40 percent of all babies were born to unmarried mothers. In many states - Illinois included - if the child is born to an unmarried woman, the father must legally establish his paternity before he can claim any rights to the child.
Presumed Paternity in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, a father cannot even put his name on the child’s birth certificate unless paternity has been established. The only time paternity is presumed is if the mother was married or in a civil union at the time the child was born, or if the mother was married or in a civil union within 300 days before the child was born. If neither of those situations was true, then paternity must be established....