Establishing parentage is also called paternity testing and this is done to determine who a child's biological father is. It can mean getting a court order as a declaration of the fact after a paternity test or a Declaration of Paternity can be signed at the hospital when the child is born or after the child and mother leave the hospital. Knowing the parentage of the child is a very important piece of information, both for emotional reasons and for legal reasons.
Some of the many legal reasons to know the child's parentage is:
-So that you can get financial support for the child from the other parent if you are not married,
-You will have both of the parent's names on the birth certificate which can open up a wealth of information about the child's background such as any family medical issues from either parents,
-The child will be legally able to inherit from the parents and the right to receive social security and veteran's benefits,
-The child will be eligible for any health benefits available from both parents,
-Reimbursement for pregnancy and birthing expenses.
Another reason to establish parentage would be to be able to collect child support, get child custody and visitation orders. Without this vital information the judge will not be able to make orders regarding child support. For example, if the child's parentage is unknown and one parent needs child support from the other, but that other parent is unwilling to pay, without a court establishing paternity or a Declaration of Parentage, the judge's hands are tied.