Why establish paternity?
Identity: All children have the right to know their mother and father.

Money: Frequently, children supported by only one parent are poorer than children supported by both parents. They need child support. In order to get support, paternity must be legally established.

Medical: Your child needs to know if he or she has inherited any special health problems. Also, it might be possible to obtain medical insurance for your child through the father’s employer, union, or military service.

Security: Fathers who support their children when they are young are more likely to continue to pay support until they become adults. If you wait, the father may decide to deny paternity which could make your child feel unwanted or unloved.

Survivor's Benefits*: If the father dies, your child could qualify for a number of benefits, including Social Security, pensions, inheritance rights, veterans benefits, and life insurance.

*Unless legal paternity has been established, your child may not be able to claim these benefits from his or her father.

Show All Answers

1. Why should a father support his child?
2. Why establish paternity?
3. How is paternity established?
4. What happens after paternity has been established?
5. How long after a child is born can paternity be established?
6. What if the father is unemployed or in school?