There are many reasons why it is important to establish paternity, both for the child and the parents. Paternity is the process of determining the legal father of the child. For parents who would like to understand more about this process in North Carolina, there is helpful information available.
One of the primary benefits of establishing paternity is ensuring that the child’s father has the legal right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing and for the child, the right to financial support from their father. Financial support provides for the child’s expenses like food, clothing, and education.
Once paternity is established, the child also has the right to inherit from their father and have access to their father’s medical history, which is important in the future for understanding potential health risks. There are also social and emotional benefits, including providing the child with a sense of identity within their family.
There are a few ways to establish paternity in North Carolina. The parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form at the hospital when the child is born and once it is signed and notarized, paternity is established.
Either parent can request a court order to establish paternity if there is a dispute. The court may order the potential father to have DNA testing and if the test confirms paternity, the court will issue an order establishing paternity. DNA testing may include a blood or saliva test.
If parents have questions about establishing paternity, there is help available.