In the United States, the legal system has recognized the importance of confirming a child’s paternity, which refers to who a child’s father is. Modern technological advances have made it possible to determine, without question, whether or not a man is a child’s father. This is important in the legal system, as it affects a man’s parental rights, as well as his financial and other responsibilities toward the child.
A man may acknowledge paternity for legal purposes by allowing his name to be listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate, or in a legal document filed with the court. In the event paternity is disputed, either party may request a DNA paternity test, or the state child support or child services division may request a court order for paternity testing.
Definition of paternity provided by legaldictionary.net.