Parentage cases or paternity cases are held to determine who a child's parents are. There is no question about the parentage of a child when the parents are married at the time of the child's birth because the law assumes the husband is the father. The same goes for domestic partners. After January 1st, 2005 if a child is born to parents who are in a registered domestic partnership, the law assumes that they are the parents. However, same sex parentage cases can be complex since the law is new and it is recommended that you attain a Family Law Attorney to help with your case.
When a child's parents are not married at the time of birth, parents can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity before or after they leave the hospital. If the child's parentage is in question and the parents cannot agree on who the child's parents is, the courts can order genetic tests to be done.
Often times, the child's parents must be determined before any cases about child support and/or child custody and visitation can be established. Usually a child's parentage must be established before you can get child support or custody and visitation orders. You can ask the judge for child support or custody and visitation orders as part of a case that establishes the child's parentage.