Children do better in school and are less likely to fall victim to substance abuse when their fathers are present in their lives, according to a National Health Statistics Report. This holds true whether the dads live full time with their kids or not. In Colorado, more men are pursuing their legal rights as biological fathers to participate in the upbringing of their children.
In order to establish a bond and build a relationship with a child, a father who is not married to the mother must first establish paternity. A mother and father may agree to fill out an Acknowledgment of Paternity form to have the father’s name on the birth certificate. If that is not agreed to, a paternity test can make it official. According to The State of Colorado Judicial Department, DNA testing that shows results of 97 percent probability or higher confirms paternity.
It is only after the father is legally recognized as a parent that requesting visitation rights or addressing a custody issue is possible. Once the father is recognized, he assumes some financial responsibility for the child. Many fathers, however, seek to offer more than just monthly child support. An involved parent can share in decision-making. The Child Welfare Information Gateway reports that fathers’ rights are constitutionally protected when men, who establish their status as biological fathers, make a commitment to building a relationship with their children.
Another compelling reason to establish paternity is the ability to provide long-term stability. A father can give a child access to Social Security and Veteran’s benefits, as well as to health and life insurance. It is clear that having a father present can offer life-long rewards for both child and parent alike.
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