D. Alleged Father

A man is an Alleged Father (sometimes called putative father) if:

•   He alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic father or possible genetic father of a child, but his paternity has not been determined.

An alleged father cannot establish paternity or create a presumption of paternity by registering with the Paternity Registry, but timely registration entitles him to notice of an action for termination of parental rights or adoption of a child he may have fathered.

There are several ways an alleged father may establish paternity:

•   The mother of a child and the man claiming to be the biological father may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.301. A valid acknowledgment of paternity filed with the vital statistics unit is the equivalent of an adjudication of the paternity of a child and confers all rights and duties. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.305.

•   Both the mother and father can testify in open court and ask the court to establish paternity.

•   Genetic testing. DFPS may obtain genetic testing through the Office of the Attorney General.

As soon as a legal father is established, any other potential candidates can be dismissed.