Maine Child Support: Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery (DSER)


What is Paternity?

Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity provides a child with a legal father. When the mother is married, the husband is automatically considered the legal father of children born during that marriage. If the mother and father were not married when the mother became pregnant, at any time during the pregnancy or when the child was born, paternity can be established by:

  • both parents signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, or
  • a district court which can delcare the man the legal father of a child. (This step may involve genetic testing if the man denies he is the father.)

After paternity is established, a child has the same legal rights and privileges as a child born within a marriage.

Why is it important for a child to have a legal father?

Acknowledgment Of Paternity (AOP) Questions