Legal father refers to a man recognized by law as the male parent of a child. A man is considered the legal father of a child
- if he was married to the child's natural mother when the child was born;
- if he has recognized or acknowledged the child; or
- if he has been declared the child's natural father in a paternity action.
A man who consents to the artificial insemination of his wife, is the legal father of the child that is born as a result of the artificial insemination even though he may not be the genetic father of the child. The laws of paternity are complex and vary from state to state. Often times the legally recognized father may not be the biological father.