It is a great experience to become a father for any man in Iowa and anywhere else in the U.S. The joy of having a new child comes with so many new responsibilities for the parents. But what happens if both parents are unmarried?

In this century, it is prevalent for unmarried parents to have children. Some parents may be divorced, while others may not have any intentions to marry. The reasons may not be similar from one couple to another. Still, the frequency of such scenarios happening has shone a light to the rights of unmarried fathers.

In Iowa, when a child is born from unmarried parents, the woman takes the role of the father and mother. The father has to establish paternity legally to receive rights to the child. Without paternity, the law courts cannot give any orders for child support or child custody.

Establishing paternity means legalizing the child’s father. After the establishment of paternity, the mother may ask for child support, and the father may request visitation rights. He may even claim child custody.

Fathers may establish their paternity in Iowa in two ways. They may sign the affidavit of paternity during the child’s birth at the hospital. The mother should have already put her signature before this. Both parents put a statement confirming the child’s paternity.

Secondly, by use of court action, the man may be required to take a genetic test to confirm if he is indeed the father when not 100 percent sure. Once the confirmation is positive, the father gets the legal rights to ask for visitation and custody.