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Overview of determining paternity

A New York father or mother might try to establish biological paternity because of their interests in responsibilities or rights related to the child. This is especially relevant when the parents are not married as opposed to married parents, when the husband is presumed to be the biological father. Paternity allows a child to receive the benefits afforded to those with married parents.

Children benefit from the establishment of paternity because they have the opportunity for emotional and financial support. They will be able to see their father listed on their birth certificates and know that their parents felt it was important to validate paternity. They will have access to family medical information and benefit from a parent's insurance plan. They will also receive available financial benefits, such as inheritance, veteran's benefits, Social Security and child support.

Both parents will benefit from clarification of paternity. Advantages for the mother include sharing responsibility with the father, medical insurance benefits for the child if the father has health care insurance either individually or through an employer plan, better and increased financial security and information on his family medical history. Advantages for the father include the obtaining of legal rights as a parent, including the right to visitation and custody, listing on the child's birth certificate and the right to be informed about any adoption matters or proceedings.

Unmarried parents can determine paternity either by signing a form that acknowledges the identity of the father or by requesting that the court order a DNA test. Once the results of the tests are finalized, the court will determine whether paternity has been established.

Source: Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, "Paternity Establishment", August 27, 2014

Source: Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, "Paternity Establishment", August 27, 2014

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