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.