Pursuant to Florida Statute sec. 63.053: Rights and Responsibilities of an Unmarried Biological Father, “If an unmarried biological father fails to take the actions that are available to him to establish a relationship with his child, his parental interest may be entirely lost, or greatly diminished.” Thus, as an unmarried biological father of a child, you have no parental rights until you establish paternity of the child.
Under Florida Law, the interests of the state, biological mother, the child and possible adoptive parents outweigh the interest of an unmarried biological father who does not take timely action to establish paternity. If you do not file a claim of paternity before the date a petition for termination of parental rights is filed, you are barred from filing your paternity claim under Chapter 742.
If you believe you may be the father of a child and have not established paternity of that child you must establish paternity in order to protect your constitutional rights as a parent. Contact a Florida Family Law Attorney for legal guidance in the establishment of paternity. An attorney is familiar with the applicable laws and statutes of your area and can help speed up the process in order to fulfill the timeliness requirement of establishment.