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Paternity is the legal relationship between a father and his biological or adopted child(ren). This area of law deals with a father’s and his child(ren)’s rights and obligations to each other, as well as to others. A man who is legally established to be a child’s father is held accountable for his share of support and responsibility for that child. If the father is unwilling to support the child voluntarily, he can be compelled to do so after a successful paternity suit.
If, on the other hand, the child was born out of wedlock and the mother wishes to give the child up for adoption, she will be unable to do so when the father asserts paternity and refuses his consent.
A father claiming paternity can also seek timesharing with and parental decision-making rights for the child.