Are you my Father? In Texas, there are many ways to become recognized as the father of a child, regardless of genetics and biology. Although biology is an important aspect of parentage in Texas, it is possible to find yourself in a position where you become the “father” of a child based solely on the relationship that you have with the child’s mother.
Texas law defines “father” in the following ways:
1. Presumed Father: In Texas, a man becomes a father if his paternity is presumed. A man’s paternity is presumed in the following situations:
a. The man is married to the child’s mother, and the child is born during the marriage;
b. The man was married to the child’s mother, and the child is born within 300 days after the marriage was terminated.
c. The man married the child’s mother before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with the law (regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid), and the child is born during the invalid marriage or within 300 days after the marriage ended.
d. The man married the child’s mother after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with the law, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child and (1) the assertion is in a record filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics, (2) he is voluntarily named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate, or (3) he promised in a record to support the child as his own.
e. He continuously lived in the same household with the child during the first two years of the child’s life, and he represented to others that the child was his own.
2. Acknowledged Father: A man becomes a father if he and the mother sign an acknowledgement of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity. An acknowledgement of paternity is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The signing of a valid acknowledgement of paternity adjudicates parentage and therefore, the acknowledged father has all of the rights and duties of a parent.
3. Father by Adoption: A man becomes a father if he adopts a child.
4. Father by Adjudicated Paternity: A man becomes a father if his paternity is adjudicated.
5. Father by Consent to Assisted Reproduction: A man becomes a father if he consents to assisted reproduction by the mother.
6. Father by Gestational Agreement: A man becomes a father if he is adjudicated to be the father of a child born to a gestational mother under a validated gestational agreement.