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Factors impacting the likelihood of establishing paternity

Fathers in North Carolina and throughout America are more likely to accept responsibility for a child if the mother is healthy, educated and affluent. They are also more likely to accept responsibility if the child is a boy. Those conclusions came after looking at data from a study published in Human Nature. In the United States, 40.6 percent of children were born to an unmarried couple in 2013.

Paternity in that case may be established if a father signs an acknowledgment of paternity form. When the father acknowledges his paternity, he may be guaranteed certain rights to the child and may also be required to pay child support. However, paternity is not always established. From 2009 to 2013, there were 5,427,689 births according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Of those cases, paternity was established at the hospital 69.7 percent of the time.

If a woman is healthy throughout the pregnancy, it is likely that a baby will be carried to term. This may result in a child with a higher birth weight and fewer medical complications. In general, a father is more likely to acknowledge his child in such a scenario. If a father is unlikely to voluntarily acknowledge a child, the study's author suggests that resources be made available to help the mother.

If a man has acknowledged that he is the father of a child, he may have visitation or custody rights to the child. Therefore, he may wish to talk with an attorney about establishing paternity or compelling the child's mother to honor those rights if it has already been established. A DNA test may confirm who a child's father is in the event that either side disputes or questions who that may actually be.

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