If you are not married when the baby is born, the father is not legally recognized as the legal father, unless the mother or father asks a court to declare him the father or the father takes steps to claim and care for the child.

The two options to establish legal paternity are:

  • the mom and the dad can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity/Paternity Opportunity Program Declaration (POP), or
  • the mom or the dad can ask the court to “establish paternity.”

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