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Why is establishing paternity important?

Establishing paternity secures a father’s rights as a parent. Also, children need and are entitled to:

  • financial support from both parents. A court cannot order an alleged father to pay child support until paternity has been established.
  • benefits, such as social security, insurance, inheritance and veteran’s benefits, from both parents if they are available. A child might not be able to claim benefits from the father if paternity has not been established.
  • medical history. Children have the right to know if they have inheritable health problems.
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