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How Establishing Paternity Helps Children

When fathers establish paternity, they benefit their children in many ways.

While child support is a valuable contribution, legal paternity does much more. Legal paternity helps to: 

  • Boosts self-esteem. Children gain a sense of belonging when they know who their father is and know that he cares about them.
  • Creates a family identity. Establishing paternity lets a child know his father’s side of the family, encourages a relationship with the father’s family and makes children feel more secure in who they are.
  • Enables shared parenting. When paternity is established early, fathers tend to be more involved, leading to shared responsibility, more resources for the family and decreases in high-risk behavior by children.
  • Provides health history. Paternity helps children and their doctors know the full family medical history.  
  • Expands benefits. By establishing paternity, a father may increase his child’s access to health insurance, Social Security, inheritance or other benefits.