Maybe in a perfect world, every child would be born to two loving parents. However, sometimes the father of a child will refuse to acknowledge his relationship and responsibility to the child. Fortunately, in Texas, it is not a matter of he said/she said before a judge. 

According to the Office of the Attorney General, if the mother and the man she believes is the father do not agree about paternity, the court can order the alleged father to take a DNA test. 

The paternity test begins with cheek swabs taken from the alleged father and the child at the courthouse, the local Child Support office or a local clinic. The swabs go to a laboratory for analysis, and the results should come back in four to six weeks. These tests have about a 99% accuracy rate. If the test does reveal that the man is the biological father, then the OAG will finalize the paternity order. 

Why would the mother want a man in her child’s life who resists acknowledging paternity? Some may assume the answer is about money, and it is true that the father becomes financially responsible for his child. 

However, the American Pregnancy Association points out that proving the biological bond often results in a relationship that benefits the child’s physical, mental and social development. Having the biological connection established also provides the child with a medical history, which may be important to maintain health as an adult. The legal connection also establishes the child as the man’s heir, which puts him or her in line for Social Security benefits, veterans benefits, life insurance and inheritance benefits. 

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