As Father’s Day approaches, let me start by saying: I am a proud father and I truly respect men who step up to the plate on a daily basis and love, nurture and support their children. However, this column takes aim at a problem that seems to be all too common. Here’s how it goes: A father calls and wants to go to court and request a DNA test to “make sure” the child is really his, only problem is, the child is five years old and the father signed a paternity affidavit at the hospital when the child was born (so that the baby could have his last name). In Indiana, there are two ways to establish paternity (that you are a child’s father), by requesting DNA testing through the Courts or by signing a paternity affidavit. An affidavit is simply a sworn statement that something is true. In this context, you swear that you are the biological father of a child. Once you sign a paternity affidavit, as far as the law is concerned, you are the child’s father—period. That means it doesn’t matter if you later find out that someone else is really the father, or as the child gets older, it looks more and more like your best friend, or you learn that…well you get the point, once you sign, in street terms, you’re stuck like Chuck! In legal terms, it means that you are responsible for paying child support, providing health insurance and you have visitation rights. However, if you sign a paternity affidavit at the hospital, you have sixty days to ask the Courts for a DNA test. If the test shows that you are not the father, then you’re no longer responsible for the child. After sixty days, you can request a Court to “set aside” a paternity affidavit. However, requests to set aside are only granted in “extreme and rare” cases. On the other hand, a child’s last name can be easily changed. The moral of the story is that if you are not married and your baby mama, boo, girl, shorty, whatever you call her, has a baby and there is any doubt that the child is yours, get DNA testing and then if the child is yours, BE A FATHER and then the child can rightfully have your last name.