Under what circumstances does a child have a “presumed” father?

The signing of a birth certificate creates merely a presumption that a person is the father. In addition, marriage to a man at the time the child is born also creates merely a presumption that a person is the father. Since there is a “presumed” father, meaning the mother was married to someone at the time of the birth or shortly thereafter, then under most circumstances, testing would have to occur by the fourth birthday, by the biological father. Texas Family Code 160.607. However, effective May 12, 2011, a man may seek termination of the parent child relationship if, without genetic testing, he signed an acknowledgement of paternity or was adjudicated the father of a child, because he was mistaken that he was the father. A petition must be filed no later than one year after the man learns he is not the genetic father, beginning September 1, 2012. Before that date, a termination may be filed due to mistaken paternity regardless of how long the man has been aware of the mistake. Texas Family Code 161.005.

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