From ArticleWorld

A father is the male parent of a child. The parent can be defined biologically, legally or socially. Most traditionally a biological parent is considered a father, put proving paternity has been historically problematic so social rules often define who the father is. With DNA testing, it is easier to determine the true parent.

Types of fathers

A biological father shares genes with the child. These can exist in a variety of classifications:

  • A natural father, the most common category.
  • A surprise father, where men find out about the child later.
  • A posthumous father, who dies before children are born.
  • A teenage father, often associated with premarital sex.
  • A non-parental father, whose name doesn’t appear on the birth certificate and who has no legal responsibility. In the United Kingdom, he does, however, continue to have financial responsibility.
  • A sperm donor father, who has a genetic connection but no legal or financial one.

Non-biological fathers, conversely have a social or legal relationship with the child, but no genetic one. These can also be classified in several ways:

  • Stepfather, whose wife has a child from a previous relationship.
  • Father-in-law, the father of his child’s spouse.
  • Adoptive father.
  • Foster father, who raises the child but does not adopt him or her; usually part of a couple.
  • Cuckolded father, the husband, when the child is the product of an adulterous relationship.
  • Social father, when the man takes responsibility of the child.
  • Mother’s partner, a current committed partner of the mother, who fills the role of father.

Fatherhood can also be defined by the amount of contact one has with the child:

  • Weekend/holiday father, who only has custody on certain occasions.
  • Absent father, who doesn’t spend much time with the children.
  • Second father, a person who isn’t’ a parent but has extensive contact and support.

Fatherless children

In the United Kingdom, the child of a man who is not his or her legal father (for example, if a man in a couple seeking in-vetro fertilization withdraws his consent for the procedure) has no right to support or inheritance. This is a legal status.