While ideally a child’s parentage is determined when they are young, that does not always occur. A Texas appeals court recently considered whether the trial court could adjudicate the parentage of an adult petitioner after the death of the putative father.
Adult Child Files Paternity Suit Against Father’s Estate
An adult petitioner filed suit against his mother, his alleged father, and the independent executor of his alleged father’s estate, seeking adjudication of his parentage and a declaration that he was the alleged father’s biological son and had the rights and privileges of a surviving child. The executor filed a motion to dismiss, arguing a suit to adjudicate parentage cannot be brought after the putative father’s death. The trial court denied both the executor’s and the petitioner’s respective motions for summary judgment.
Trial Court Adjudicates Parentage
At trial, the executor moved for judgment, arguing that suits to adjudicate parentage do not survive the putative father’s death pursuant to the Texas Family Code. The trial court denied the motion and adjudicated the putative father as the petitioner’s father.