There are major benefits for North Carolina children identifying their birth father. In many cases, the father will make the establishment of paternity easy by voluntarily establishing it. However, in cases where voluntarily establishing paternity is not possible, a birth mother can go through the courts to settle the issue.
There are two major benefits to a child to have their paternity established. First, it gives the child access to the medical records of their father. This is important because it can give the child an understanding of any inherited medical issues they may face. Second, establishing paternity is useful in that can allow for a child to benefit financially from their birth father. In the case where the father dies, the child may be able to claim Social Security or veteran's survivor benefits.
Ideally, the birth father would voluntarily establish paternity in every case. However, when the father doesn't cooperate, the mother can still use the court system to establish paternity. The mother can file a lawsuit and have it served on the alleged father. Once the case is initiated, the court can order all parties to submit to genetic testing. If the tests confirm paternity, the father has 60 days to protest the finding before it becomes final.
Determining the paternity of a child's father will impact several aspects of a child's life. It can play a role in their health and well-being to know their family medical history. It can also benefit a child's security if they are eligible for future survivor benefits from their birth father. An attorney with experience in family law may be able to help mothers or fathers understand their rights and guide them through the paternity establishment process.