What Can A Woman Do to Me if She Claims Her Child is Mine?
The answer will depend on whether you are the biological father or not. Children born to unwed persons do not automatically have a legal father without a paternity action establishing the identity of the father, whether agreed or contested. Some states allow the establishment of paternity by the execution of an acknowledgment of paternity form without a formal court action. Unmarried fathers have rights and duties similar to those of married fathers. Couples who are living together but are not married should take steps to ensure that both are recognized as the legal parents. Both parents can be listed on the birth certificate. A parent who is not listed may be able to be added after the birth of a child if the parent contacts the state Bureau of Vital Statistics in which the birth took place. The father will be shown on the birth certificate if he acknowledges paternity when or close in time to the birth, or the court orders the birth certificate to be changed to reflect the father’s name. A father can acknowledge paternity by signing a written admission or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or paternity may be established by filing a civil lawsuit. Generally, paternity must be established for the father to seek custody and/or visitation rights with his child. Paternity refers to the legal acknowledgment of the parental relationship between a father and his child.
Parents are legally obligated to provide their children with all the necessities of life. The failure of parents to marry does not affect their responsibility to support their children. If parents are unmarried and cannot agree upon how much each should contribute toward the support of their children, the courts may decide. A court can order one parent to make specified payments to the other for child support. State laws provide that biological parents make all the decisions involving their children, including education, health care, and religious upbringing. Parents are not required to secure the legal right to make these decisions if they are married and are listed on the child's birth certificate. However, if there is disagreement about who has the right to make these decisions courts can decide.
In most states, a paternity action takes the form of a civil lawsuit. Only certain persons or parties have legal standing to bring a paternity action, including the mother of the child; the mother of an expected child; a man alleging that he is the biological father of a child; a man alleging that he is the biological father of an expected child; the child; a personal representative of the child; the mother and father of a child (a voluntary action filed together); the mother and father of an expected child (a voluntary action filed together); a state social service agency, interceding in cases of child neglect or need; and a prosecutor's office, interceding in cases of child neglect or need. An action for paternity may be filed by the child. In many states, after a child reaches the "age of majority," he has another one to five years to seek the establishment of paternity. Upon the order of a court in North Carolina, if an action to determine parentage is filed and it is determined that a certain individual is the father of the minor child(ren) and that determination contradicts the child's birth certificate, a new birth certificate will be issued reflecting the father as established in the court order.
A court will not automatically order paternity tests simply because a paternity action has been filed. It will review the petition to determine if there is sufficient information contained therein to warrant or justify the compelling of such a test. If the court orders a paternity test, the mother, child, and alleged father will all be tested at a court-designated facility. A court determination of paternity is final, and a copy of the court's order will be needed to establish the child's rights, both present and future
Please see rthe following IL statute:
Sec. 8. Statute of limitations. (750 ILCS 45/8) (from Ch. 40, par. 2508)
/> (a) (1) An action brought by or on behalf of a child, an action brought by a party alleging that he or she is the child’s natural parent, or an action brought by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (formerly Illinois Department of Public Aid), if it is providing or has provided financial support to the child or if it is assisting with child support collection services, shall be barred if brought later than 2 years after the child reaches the age of majority; however, if the action on behalf of the child is brought by a public agency, other than the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (formerly Illinois Department of Public Aid ) if it is providing or has provided financial support to the child or if it is assisting with child support collection services, it shall be barred 2 years after the agency has ceased to provide assistance to the child.
(2) Failure to bring an action within 2 years shall not bar any party from asserting a defense in any action to declare the non-existence of the parent and child relationship.
(3) An action to declare the non-existence of the parent and child relationship brought under subsection (b) of Section 7 of this Act shall be barred if brought later than 2 years after the petitioner obtains knowledge of relevant facts. The 2-year period for bringing an action to declare the nonexistence of the parent and child relationship shall not extend beyond the date on which the child reaches the age of 18 years. Failure to bring an action within 2 years shall not bar any party from asserting a defense in any action to declare the existence of the parent and child relationship.
(4) An action to declare the non-existence of the parent and child relationship brought under subsection (b-5) of Section 7 of this Act shall be barred if brought more than 6 months after the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1998 or more than 2 years after the petitioner obtains actual knowledge of relevant facts, whichever is later. The 2-year period shall not apply to periods of time where the natural mother or the child refuses to submit to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests. The 2-year period for bringing an action to declare the nonexistence of the parent and child relationship shall not extend beyond the date on which the child reaches the age of 18 years. Failure to bring an action within 2 years shall not bar any party from asserting a defense in any action to declare the existence of the parent and child relationship.
(b) The time during which any party is not subject to service of process or is otherwise not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State shall toll the aforementioned periods.
(c) This Act does not affect the time within which any rights under the Probate Act of 1975 may be asserted beyond the time provided by law relating to distribution and closing of decedent’s estates or to the determination of heirship, or otherwise.
(Source: P.A. 89-674, eff. 8-14-96; 90-18, eff. 7-1-97; 90-715, eff. 8-7-98; revised 12-15-05.)