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Fathers' rights: Termination of paternity in Texas

One of the biggest challenges for fathers' rights advocates in Texas is when a child is born out of wedlock. In a lot of cases, especially when the biological mother feels that she does not have the financial or social resources to support the child, or even in cases where the biological parents of the newborn are minors, the biological mother might think of giving up the child for adoption to another family that she thinks is better suited to raise the child.

In other cases, there might be a dispute in establishing paternity. In some cases, the mother might claim that a man is the biological father of the minor child in question. However, the fathers also has the right to initiate a paternity lawsuit in the event that the two people feel that they are being dragged into a child support lawsuit, where they are not sure of the paternity of the child. In such a case, typically, the father may consult a family law attorney who specializes in fathers' rights previously.

On the other hand, when a child is born to married parents or to a couple that has been in a long-term intimate relationship, the husband or partner will often acknowledge paternity in the hospital without suspecting the mother of having been unfaithful to the man. In such a case, the father still has the legal right to dispute the paternity of the child in court.

In that case, the judge would typically order a genetic test of the child and the father to establish paternity or to refute it. In a case in which the scientific testing unequivocally proves that the child in question is not the biological child of the man, that man has the legal right to initiate a case to terminate the paternity acknowledgment that was previously obtained by the mother in a fraudulent manner.

Source: Guides.SLL.TEXAS.gov, "Termination of parental rights," June 17, 2015

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