When A Non-Biological Father Has To Pay Child Support
It is not just biological parents who have the legal responsibility of supporting their children; in some cases, even non-biological fathers may be legally required to provide child support. As a non-biological father, you may be required to provide child support if any of the following apply to you.
You Have Agreed to Be the Child's Father
When you agree to be a child's father, then you are acknowledged as the father and have to shoulder all the responsibilities of fatherhood, including child support payments. This will be the case even if the two of you weren't married when the child was conceived or delivered. This may be the case, for example, if you have signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement acknowledging to act for all intents and purposes as the father of the child. Another example is when you verbally agree, in the presence of witnesses, to be the child's father.
You Were Married To the Mother When the Child Was Conceived
When a child is born to a married couple, the man is presumed to be the father of the child unless they bring evidence to the contrary. This means you may be forced to pay child support for a child who isn't yours if your wife conceived of the child in an extramarital affair. In such a case, the onus is on you to prove that the child isn't yours, and depending on your state's laws, there may only be a small window to do that.
You Signed the Birth Certificate
For unmarried parents, signing the birth certificate of a child is one of the most obvious ways of acknowledging that you are their father. In most cases, new mothers are given forms to fill shortly after delivery, and one of the things to be filled is the name of the father. This is not mandatory, however, and the section can be left blank or updated later on. However, if the mother names you as the father, you will be required to sign it, and once you do, you are the legal father of the child and have to contribute to their support.
You Have Been Claiming the Child As Your Own in Public
Lastly, you may also be required to pay child support for a non-biological child if you have been holding the child as your own in public. A good example is if you are married to the child's mother, you live with the child, you take care of the financial needs of the child and introduce them as yours.