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Admitting legal paternity

For children who are born outside of marriage, men in Massachusetts and the rest of the nation are more willing to admit to fatherhood if the mother is educated, wealthy and in good health. According to a researcher from the University of Oklahoma, it also helps if the baby is male.

In the United States, the establishment of legal paternity is emphasized at the birth of the baby. Usually, a husband is indicated as the father of his wife's baby on the birth certificate. However, two out of every five babies born in the United States are born to unwed mothers. Establishing legal paternity in these cases require that the man is confirmed as the father and that he completes an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. This provides a guarantee of parental rights to the father and is useful in states' efforts to collect child support.

There are a high number of cases in which legal paternity is not established. In order to determine reason for this, the researcher examined the data pertaining to 5,427,689 births between 2009 and 2013 to unmarried women in the United States. He found that legal paternity is established in the hospital for 69.7 percent of babies born to unwed mothers and that even though paternity established in some cases after the children have been discharged from the hospital, almost 750,000 babies leave the hospital every year without their father being named. He also determined that men are more likely to admit their paternity if the mother is healthy throughout the pregnancy.

A family law attorney may counsel biological fathers seeking have access to their child. After paternity has been established, the attorney may work to ensure that the father is able to exercise his rights, including custody and visitation.

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