In a previous article entitled “The Importance of Establishing Paternity”, I outlined the various rights and privileges that a biological father and their children may gain by establishing paternity through the legal process when their children are born out of wedlock. One of those
On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama issued an executive order allowing a stay of deportation for parents of U.S. citizen children. For those parents whose children were born during a marriage, that parent is presumed to be the father pursuant to Illinois law. However, if you are seeking to take advantage of the new immigration law, and your U.S. citizen child was born out-of-wedlock, there may be a few hurdles you will need to overcome before you can take advantage of the new law. If you signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity at the time of the child’s birth, then you are presumed to be the biological father of the minor child whether the child is biologically yours or not. If you did not sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, you will need to be declared the biological father of the minor child by filing a Petition to Establish Parentage in domestic relations court. A judge will ask if you would like a DNA test. If both parties waive the DNA test, then the judge will declare you to be the biological father of the minor child. Without the order declaring you to be the biological father, you are not legally the father no matter how involved you are with the child or how alike you two may be. We do not know the specifics of the new immigration policy yet, only that you must have had a U.S. citizen child by the November 20th date. An interesting question remains, then, if an order of paternity for a child entered after the November 20th date, but born before November 20th, meets the requirements.