You have specific responsibilities if you and your partner are not married and she becomes pregnant. It’s critical you know paternity laws in your state. According to Kentucky law, paternity can be established by completing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity affidavit or through court. You can decide which path you want to take. Read on to learn the benefits of establishing paternity.

What is Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity?

Voluntary acknowledgment means you are freely admitting that you are the biological father of the child. You can declare paternity at the hospital when your child is born or later through the health department or local child support office. 


The Kentucky Paternity Acknowledgment Program stresses the value of children having two legal parents.  It also benefits the mothers and fathers!  The benefits that come with establishing paternity are as follows:


  • Can build a relationship with both parents and develop a sense of identity
  • Have knowledge of the medical history of both parents helping them to better take care of their health as they age
  • Have a decreased chance of high-risk behaviors like substance abuse or dropping out of school


  • Receive help with parental responsibilities
  • Receive help in making important parental decisions


  • Have a legal right to a relationship with their children
  • Have other legal rights such as the right to access information about their children and the right to make parenting agreements, such as custody and child support arrangements
  • Have their name on the birth certificate

How is Paternity Established Through the Court?

If you claim you are not the father of your partner’s child, she can pursue establishing paternity after giving birth. The courts then make the final decision.

Establishing Paternity

Kentucky’s Child Support Enforcement Agency locates the person named as the father and begins the necessary work to establish paternity. That may include the following:

  • Establishing paternity through genetic testing
  • Establishing child and/or medical support orders
  • Enforcement of child and/or medical support orders
  • Collection and enforcement of current and past-due child support

Genetic testing determines biological paternity if there is any question about who the father is. If you are not the biological father, you have no financial or legal responsibility.

If genetic testing confirms you are the biological father, you will have to pay child support whether you agree or not. If you do not pay, you can be subject to garnished wages, suspension of your driver’s license, or possibly jail time.

What Can BsideU for Life Do For Me?

In addition to our free medical services, we offer a men’s group and parenting classes to help you become the best father possible. We are beside you and your partner in this parenting journey. Take advantage of the knowledgeable men on our team and the services we provide.

Schedule a free appointment to learn more about your partner’s pregnancy, take classes, or just share your concerns. Fill out our online contact form, call 502-589-9400, or text 502-309-4951.