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When Michigan parents have a child, establishing paternity is a crucial matter. Married fathers do not have much to do. They must sign the birth certificate at the time of the child’s birth. Unmarried fathers have more work, as they must sign a declaration of paternity. 

Today we will look at why any father should establish paternity. Regardless of your marriage status, establishing paternity benefits you. 

Paternal rights you do not have without established paternity 

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse looks at why you should establish paternity. First of all, this applies to any parent who wishes for involvement in their child’s life even a small amount. Some fathers choose to exit their child’s life entirely. But even if you think you want this, give it some more thought. 

If you want to have a connection with your child, you must establish paternity. Without legal paternity, you do not have any legal say in your child’s life. This means you cannot have your opinion heard in matters regarding your child’s: 

  • Health and medical care, including surgeries or treatments 
  • Religious upbringing 
  • Schools they go to 
  • Location 

The possibility of losing contact with your child 

Likewise, the mother does not have to disclose her plans on moving if you are not the legal father. This means the other parent may take your child from your city or state without you knowing. They may leave the country. 

If protective services remove your child from the mother’s custody, they will not notify you. Child protection services make efforts to find the father. But there is no guarantee your child will not end up in the foster system. 

Do you have any intention of being in your child’s life? If so, it is important to establish paternity and get that legal security.