If you are unmarried, but expecting a child and want to establish your legal rights, a Petition to Establish Paternity must be filed.  If you are unsure whether you are the Father of the child, you can request the court to order a DNA test.  The Mother can also request a DNA to be ordered if she is unsure whether the person who filed the case is truly the biological Father.

Can a paternity test be performed while you are pregnant?

DNA tests are typically not performed until the birth of the child.  There are some options to perform the test while pregnant, however, it is costly and can be dangerous for the baby.  Most likely, the Court will not order a DNA test until the child is born.  Even though the DNA test will be done after the child is born, you do not have to wait until the child is born to file a Petition to Establish Paternity.  In fact, it is a good idea to file before the birth of that child so that a DNA test can be performed immediately after the child’s birth.

The Court can order that the DNA test be performed in the hospital after the child’s birth.  The court will take no action on the case until the child is born and a DNA test proving the Father is the biological Father is filed with the Court.  If you choose to wait and file after the child is born, you should register your name with the Florida Putative Father Registry to protect your rights.  This prevents the child from being legally adopted by another person before the biological Father’s rights have been established.

Click here for more information about paternity laws.