When a Tennessee couple has a child, the mother is undeniable. But what about the father? To establish paternity, a father must go through processes a mother does not need to. 

Today, we will look at the importance of going through these steps. We will see why establishing paternity is important regardless of your future plans. 

Why establishing paternity is important 

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse looks into this. They strive to explain the importance of establishing paternity for all parties involved. First of all, you do not have any legal rights over the child if you did not establish paternity. This means you do not have: 

  • A say over the child’s schooling or religion 
  • A say in medical decisions related to the child 
  • A right to custody 
  • The ability to give your child medical, health or insurance benefits 

Married vs unmarried fathers 

Married fathers have an easier time. They have paternity with little fuss. They only need to sign the child’s birth certificate to make it official. Establishing paternity is a little more difficult for unmarried fathers. They must go through a paternity acknowledgment process. 

Some unmarried fathers may question going through this process. You may have concerns about child support payments. But you should know that not establishing paternity means you are not part of your child’s life. You can lose contact in no time. For example, a mother does not have to alert you if she is moving out of state with your child. No one will notify you if child protection workers take custody of your child. 

If you wish for involvement in your child’s life, consider establishing paternity. It benefits you in the long run by giving you full rights as a parent and father.