Paternity Actions - Paternity actions are the tool used by fathers to obtain parental rights when the father is not married to the mother of the child they have in common. There is the state form called a Recognition of Parentage that is a form used by fathers to assert their parental interest in a child. Once signed, a father has only a short time in which the father can seek to have it set aside, thereafter it is conclusive documentation.
It also allows the mother to go to court to seek child support in an expedited process action before a Child Support Magistrate. Counties also sometimes seek a paternity adjudication when there is not a recognition of parentage by the father and there is a need for the county to seek child support and reimbursement to the county. , so some people do wait to change their own name until the children are adults.