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How establishing paternity can help unmarried Maryland fathers

If you're an unmarried father living in Maryland, you probably have a lot of questions running through your head right now. But if you're like a lot of other new fathers, none of these questions probably have anything to do with establishing paternity. If this is the case for you, you're not alone.

For many new fathers, establishing paternity is the farthest thought from their minds when they welcome their child into the world. But did you know that establishing paternity early on is probably the most beneficial thing you can do for your child? If you didn't, then keep reading, because this is the conversation we're going to have in today's post.

Paternity can be established in one of three ways in Maryland: through marriage of the child's mother and father after conception or birth, by signing an Affidavit of Parentage, or through court proceedings, which can include genetic testing. However you choose to establish paternity, you are giving your child a better life for it. Here's how:

  • You establish an immediate relationship with your child that can be fostered and grown over time,
  • You give your child access to their family medical history, which can help them greatly later in life,
  • You give your child the right to important financial support, including inheritances and Social Security benefits, and
  • You establish your parental rights to custody and visitation of your child.

Though many boil paternity down to a way for one parent to seek child support from the other parent, we hope today's post showed you that establishing paternity can offer parents so much more than that.

Source: The People's Law Library of Maryland, "Paternity," Accessed Nov. 3, 2015

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