Paternity is the legal acknowledgment of a parental relationship between a father and his child. A child born to a wife during a marriage is legally presumed to be the husband's child, but this presumption can be rebutted with evidence to the contrary. A determination of paternity for putative fathers can be established through a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, a court petition, or estoppel over time. Scientific evidence, such as blood and DNA tests, is used to establish or deny parentage of a child in paternity suits. Once paternity is established, a child is entitled to the legal rights of a child born within a marriage, including support from both parents, medical and life insurance coverage, and inheritance protection.
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