You love your child, but one thing you’ve always been concerned about is the potential that you are not their father. Even if a DNA test came back negative, you’d want to be a part of their life. It puts you in a difficult position, because you want to know but know that finding out that you aren’t a parent could result in losing your parental rights.

Paternity testing is about more than your parental rights and child support, though. It’s about allowing a child to know where they come from. It can give important information about their paternal side’s health history. All of this is important for a child to know.

What happens if you test negative as the father but want to continue to be in the child’s life?

This might be a concern, but in most cases, people who are willing to be in a child’s life and who have been there over time will be able to seek visitation. For a father who has held out a child as his own and perhaps raised them for many years, finding out that the child isn’t theirs is difficult. Many men would continue to choose to raise the child, though. Your attorney can look into your specific situation and talk to you about how to retain visitation rights after divorce, for example, or how to guarantee parental rights moving forward.

Paternity is a complex issue, and you may have many questions or concerns. Our website has more on what you can do if you are seeking a paternity test or have found out that your child is not related to you.