Under G.L. chapter 209C, § 14, the mother, but not the father is allowed to file a court case while she is pregnant. Paternity, however cannot be legally established until the child is born even though the father and the mother-to-be agreed verbally or in writing that she is pregnant with his child.
Once the child is born, paternity can be established voluntarily or by court order. The paternity statute allows the court to enter temporary orders for support or health insurance while the mother is pregnant, and pending a final judgment of paternity. However, it is likely that the court would limit orders to cases where it is clear that the putative father is the child’s father; if an order is made, the support payments may be ordered into an escrow account.
Age is not a bar to paternity. Paternity can be acknowledged and established even if one or both of the parents is under the age of 18. Likewise, a child over the age of majority may file a complaint to establish paternity.
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