Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Parental Rights

Establishing paternity gives the father certain rights. A legal father has the right to seek court ordered custody and visitation.

Family History

The child will have the benefit of knowing both legal parents as well as relatives from each side of his/her family.

Medical Background

The child will have the benefit of access to important medical background from both sides of his/her family.

Birth Certificate

Your child's birth certificate will show the name of the father.


The legal father of a child has the right to be notified before any adoption proceeding.


Upon the death of the father, a child may have the right to inherit from his estate.

U.S. Military Benefits

The child may be entitled to benefits as a result of the father's service in the military.

Child Support

The court will order the father to pay child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later, unless otherwise ordered by the court. Fathers who pay child support tend to be more involved in their children's lives, and children who receive child support appear to perform better in school and are less likely to become teen parents.

Health Care Benefits (Medical Support)

If the father's employer provides health care benefits, the father may be able to include the child under his health care plan.

Social Security

The child may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits if the father becomes disabled or dies.

Who do I call if I have questions?

If you have more questions, contact the Department of Human Services, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement Paternity Coordinator at:

       1-800-932-0211, option number two

               Monday through Friday

                 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

       Or go to for more information about establishing paternity.