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Why and How to Establish Paternity

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How Will Taking the Steps to Establish Paternity Benefit My Child?
Father and baby daughter playing outdoors.
Camille Tokerud/Stone/Getty Images

Making the effort to formally establish paternity is about much more than just a monthly child support check. Consider that:

  1. Every child has the right to know and be known by his or her father.

  2. When you establish paternity, your child also gains legal benefits, including:


  3.  
  • The right to benefit financially from the birth father.
    In addition to potentially receiving regular child support, your child has a legal right to death benefits - including social security or Veteran's benefits, in addition to any possible inheritance - in the event of the birth father's death. Choosing not to formally establish paternity results in the loss of these potential financial benefits for the child.

  • Access to the father's medical history.
    Establishing paternity allows your child to potentially be informed of any genetic medical issues that could have been passed on from the birth father.

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