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Texas Paternity Law

This page about Texas paternity laws is provided as general information only. Journey Genetic Testing does not provide legal advice or representation. We encourage you to research your state laws for the most current information, or contact a family law attorney.

Texas Paternity Law: Family Code – Title 5. Subtitle B. Chapter 160.

Sec. 160.201. ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP.

(a) The mother-child relationship is established between a woman and a child by:

(1) the woman giving birth to the child;

(2) an adjudication of the woman’s maternity; or

(3) the adoption of the child by the woman.

(b) The father-child relationship is established between a man and a child by:

(1) an unrebutted presumption of the man’s paternity of the child under Section 160.204;

(2) an effective acknowledgment of paternity by the man under Subchapter D, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged;

(3) an adjudication of the man’s paternity;

(4) the adoption of the child by the man; or

(5) the man’s consenting to assisted reproduction by his wife under Subchapter H, which resulted in the birth of the child.
Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Sec. 160.202. NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON MARITAL STATUS.

A child born to parents who are not married to each other has the same rights under the law as a child born to parents who are married to each other.
Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Sec. 160.203. CONSEQUENCES OF ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENTAGE.

Unless parental rights are terminated, a parent-child relationship established under this chapter applies for all purposes, except as otherwise provided by another law of this state.
Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Sec. 160.204. PRESUMPTION OF PATERNITY.

(a) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:

(1) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born during the marriage;

(2) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

(3) he married the mother of the child before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

(4) he married the mother of the child after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:

(A) the assertion is in a record filed with the bureau of vital statistics;

(B) he is voluntarily named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or

(C) he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or

(5) during the first two years of the child’s life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided and he represented to others that the child was his own.

(b) A presumption of paternity established under this section may be rebutted only by:

(1) an adjudication under Subchapter G; or

(2) the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section 160.305.
Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 160.301. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PATERNITY.

The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the biological father of the child may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity .
Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 160.302. EXECUTION OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PATERNITY.

(a) An acknowledgment of paternity must:

(1) be in a record;

(2) be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the mother and the man seeking to establish paternity;

(3) state that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged:

(A) does not have a presumed father or has a presumed father whose full name is stated; and

(B) does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father;

(4) state whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the acknowledging man’s claim of paternity is consistent with the results of the testing; and

(5) state that the signatories understand that the acknowledgment is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of the paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgment is permitted only under limited circumstances and is barred after four years.

(b) An acknowledgment of paternity is void if it:

(1) states that another man is a presumed father of the child, unless a denial of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by the presumed father is filed with the bureau of vital statistics;

(2) states that another man is an acknowledged or adjudicated father of the child; or

(3) falsely denies the existence of a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father of the child.

(c) A presumed father may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgment of [Previous Hit] paternity [Next Hit] .
Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Required Probability of Paternity for Texas Courts: 99%
Required Paternity Index: 100 to 1

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