Establishing paternity means determining the legal father of a child. If the parents are not married to each other when the child is born, then paternity must be established before the father’s name will be placed on the birth certificate. Paternity can be established by:

Paternity establishment means more than having a father on the child’s birth certificate or obtaining an order for child support. Once paternity is established, a child gains legal rights and privileges. Other benefits of establishing paternity include:

  • giving the child rights to inheritance
  • access to the father’s medical and life insurance benefits
  • eligibility for social security and veteran’s benefits
  • giving the child a better chance to develop a relationship with the father
  • giving the child a sense of identity and connection to both sides of the family

The following links provide additional information about the paternity services DOR provides, including genetic marker paternity tests to determine if a man is a child’s biological father.