Voluntary paternity establishment not only provides a legal father for every child, but it also provides several benefits. An involved father leads to happier toddlers, improved social well being and better grades for the child. Below are a few key benefits of establishing paternity.
- Self Esteem— Generally children respond better when given love and support from both parents.
- Shared Parenting — Parenting is the responsibility of both the father and the mother. Early paternity establishment may increase the father’s involvement in the child’s life. Once a legal relationship is established the father is more likely to maintain his own relationship with his child over the long-term.
- Health History— A child is more likely to have a complete health history if the father establishes paternity. Knowing the family’s medical history is important for children and their physicians. The father’s medical history is critically important if special conditions exist, such as disease or specific genetic traits, or if transplant donors are needed for the child.
- Important Rights— When paternity is established, the father has the same rights as a father of a child born in a marriage. If the father dies or is permanently disabled, paternity establishment may ensure benefits for the child, such as inheritance, social security, or veteran’s benefits.