Paternity By Estoppel definition

Paternity by estoppel is the concept when a presumed father is takes care of a child he believes to be his biological offspring even though he may not.

A presumed father’s actions like spending time and resources with the child, the child calling him “father” can be seen by the court as evidence that the man is indeed has taken the role of being the father. When this occurs the man is estopped or prevented from being able from denying paternity in court.

When both the mother and the presumed father create the reality to world that the child his the offspring of the father, and estoppel has been established. Performing a paternity test may not be enough for a Judge to overturn.

Can the doctrine of Paternity By Estoppel be prevented?

Yes. The only way to avoid this from happening is to perform a DNA paternity test shortly after the child is born.

The earlier you perform a genetic test to determine paternity the of the child, the better. Therefore, the presumed father can make a decision on being an active legal father or not early.

If you are in need to perform a DNA test it is important to know that you must perform a legal paternity test. The genetic samples must be tested and analyzed by an AABB accredited laboratory.

Please note all legal chain of custody tests we provide are performed by our partner AABB Accredited Laboratory. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today at 866-205-8356 to get started.

Yes. In essence, the presumed father will have the legal rights over the child. What this also means is, If the biological father wants to be the legal father of the child. Legally he will not be able have the right to so.


In conclusion, it is crucial for a presumed father to have a clear understanding of the concept of paternity by estoppel. This legal doctrine emphasizes the significance of a father’s actions and involvement in a child’s life, regardless of biological relationship.

By taking on the role of a father and investing time, resources, and emotional support, a presumed father establishes a bond with the child that can be legally recognized and protected.

It is important for a presumed father to be aware that once paternity by estoppel is established, it can be challenging to deny or overturn in court. Therefore, it is advisable for a presumed father to consider DNA paternity testing early on to make informed decisions about their legal rights and responsibilities.