Historically, the legal need to establish paternity or parentage only arose when a child’s mother was not married to the child’s biological father at the time of the child’s birth. Today, questions of parentage can arise in numerous situations, including pregnancies involving:
Female couples, when one is the biological mother of the child.
In vitro fertilization, wherein donated eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish, and one or more embryos are transferred to the uterus of an unmarried woman who will be the child’s mother.
Gestational surrogacy contracts, which oblige the female surrogate to surrender custody of a child upon birth to two other people who are the child’s intended parents.
A wife who uses her husband’s sperm to conceive a child after her husband’s death, an act known as posthumous conception.
The Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 defines the conditions under which a parent-child relationship is established.
A woman is legally the parent of a child in these circumstances:
- The woman gave birth to the child, unless she carried the child under a valid gestational surrogacy contract.
- The woman was the intended mother of the child as defined in a gestational surrogacy contract.
- The woman was legally married to the woman who gave birth to the child. This includes children born up to 300 days after the end of the marriage, whether due to death or divorce.
- The woman adopted the child.
- The woman’s parentage of the child was adjudicated through a court proceeding. (This could be necessary, for example, if a mother disappeared shortly after giving birth and came back at some later time seeking to establish parentage.)
A man is legally the parent of a child in these circumstances:
- The man was legally married to the woman who gave birth to the child. This includes children born up to 300 days after the end of the marriage, whether due to death or divorce. For some legal purposes, it may also include children conceived posthumously.
- The man made a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity by c-signing the appropriate state form with the mother.
- The man’s parentage is adjudicated by the court, usually substantiated by DNA testing or other clear and convincing evidence.
- The man was the intended father of the child as defined in a gestational surrogacy contract.
- The man adopted the child.
A Trusted Lombard Parentage and Paternity Lawyer
The highly-qualified DuPage County parentage and paternity attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help you to legally establish your child’s parentage and complete other necessary legal actions regarding child support, parental authority, and parenting time (aka custody and visitation). For a free consultation, call our Lombard office at 630-932-9100.