- Identifying a child’s father gives the child access to legal rights and privileges, including health and life insurance benefits
- Confirming a child’s paternity gives the child access to valuable medical history and other genealogical information.
- Giving a child the chance to form emotional ties with the biological father (and his family) contributes to his sense of identity.
- Some states require the child of an unmarried mother to assume the mother’s last name. A paternity test may be needed if the mother chooses to give the (possible) father’s last name to her child.
When a married woman gives birth, her husband is typically assumed to be the child’s father and is given that status on the birth certificate. But if a woman is unmarried, a man must formally be named the father to establish legal paternity. The man must usually sign...