You loved your child the moment they were born, but after a long discussion with your girlfriend, you knew that there was a potential that you were not the father. You want to ask for paternity testing, but you already signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. You didn’t know yet that you might not be the actual father of your child.

The good news for you is that you can give up your parental rights in some cases, especially if you’ve been misled to believe that a child is yours (but they are not). Your attorney will need to work closely with you and the case if you want to try to disestablish paternity after your test results. You should remember that finding out as soon as possible is essential; what you learn will affect you and the child in question, and waiting too long could make a judge disinclined to allow you out of your legal responsibilities. 

How is paternity determined in most cases?

Paternity is normally determined through a DNA test, though there are potentially other factors that could be used to help identify a father. Paternity testing is simple. It requires only a quick swab of the cheek or a small amount of blood from you and the child. Those samples are then matched up to see if there are enough markers that match to show that you’re the biological father. 

On average, DNA tests are 99% accurate and can easily exclude non-fathers. If you need to have one of these tests to prove or disprove paternity, then it’s important that you reach out to your attorney to start the process quickly. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to disestablish paternity.