When a married couple has a child in Illinois, it is assumed that the two spouses are the biological parents of the child. The same assumption is not made, however, when a child is born to unwed parents. In these cases, it must be proven that the father is the biological parent. It is important to do this soon after the child is born. Establishing paternity, and doing it early, has many benefits for the mother, father, and the child.
How to Establish Paternity
Unfortunately, simply including the father’s name on the birth certificate is not enough to establish paternity. After the birth of a child, both parents may voluntarily establish paternity by signing the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. If there is a dispute about paternity, each party has two choices.
The first option is to establish paternity through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. If this agency proves paternity, they will file an Administrative Paternity Order indicating who is the biological father of the child....