Texas: Can I sign a document saying I am the father?

Yes! This is also known as an acknowledgement of paternity. However, in Texas, there are 5 steps that must be followed for the acknowledgement to be valid. The acknowledgement must:

1. Be in a record. This means it must be written on something tangible, such as paper, or on an electronic form.

2. Be signed. It must be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the mother and the man seeking to establish paternity. A document signed “under penalty of perjury” can mean it was signed in front of a notary or the parties wrote an unsworn declaration stating something along the lines of “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

3. State the child does not have another father. The acknowledgement must state that the child does not have a presumed father, an adjudicated father, or another acknowledged father.

4. State whether a paternity test was completed. Was a genetic test completed? If so, did the test results prove the man seeking paternity by acknowledgement is the father of the child?

5. State the parties understand what an acknowledgement means. An acknowledgement is the same as, and held to the same high standards as, a court order that declares a man is the father of a child. There are very few circumstances in which a party can contest an acknowledgement.


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