Lawful Paternity

In the eyes of the law, paternity is quite a different matter. DNA paternity testing is a relatively new science, and the blood testing conducted in previous decades before its discovery was rudimentary at best. Legally defined, paternity is the acknowledgement of the father/child relationship based on not only biological factors but social factors as well, and sometimes on social factors alone.

In our recent past, there were simply no means available to scientifically ensure the fact that a given man was truly the father of a woman's child. Physical resemblance was often cited, but very unreliable. As a result, most common law deems that the husband is legally the father of any child born during the term of marriage and assumes all rights to and responsibilities for the child. If the husband has cause to believe he is in fact not the father, this may be rebutted by the production of evidence that proves his case in a court of law.