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Can Paternity Be Presumed if You Aren’t Married?

Sometimes the law presumes the paternity of a child, meaning that the state accepts the identity of the father without any need for filing documents or confirming through DNA testing. In Oklahoma, there are certain situations in which a man will be presumed to be the father of a child. If none of these situations apply to you, then there are a couple of other methods to make it official that you are the father of the child.

The state statute dictates that a baby is presumed to be the child of a man who fits into one of these situations:

  1. The man was married to the mother at the time of the birth or had been in a marriage that ended no more than 300 days before the birth of the baby
  2. After the birth of the baby, the man married the mother and took on the role of the father of the baby
  3. The man resided in the same household as the child for the first two years of the child’s life and introduced himself to others as the child’s father

Oklahoma has an official Acknowledgment of Paternity form (AOP) and hospitals and birthing centers in Oklahoma are required to give a copy of the AOP to any unwed parents. Staff at the hospital or birthing center may even be able to help you complete the form. A completed and signed AOP acknowledges that the parents agree that the man who signs is the father of the child, and both parties waive their right to genetic testing. Furthermore, the signing father agrees to be bound by state laws regarding child support and the child being placed in line to inherit the father’s assets should the father pass away.

If there is any question of paternity, the mother and any potential father may file a paternity suit in court. The Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS) can also file a paternity suit to attempt to secure support for a child in need. Once this process is started, the court will order DNA tests of the baby and potential fathers. In Oklahoma, the standard procedure is to collect DNA for paternity tests by swabbing the inside of the person’s cheek. If a DNA match is found between a man and a child, the court will issue an order declaring paternity, and may order the father pay child support at that time.

At Lindsey Law Firm, P.C., located in Tulsa, we represent Oklahomans involved in all aspects of paternity disputes. Call the firm at 918-587-0097 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Office Location
  • Tulsa Office
    1612 S Denver Ave.
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119
    Phone: 918-587-0097
    Fax: 918-587-3763
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