When a child has a father figure in their life, it doesn’t matter if that person is the child’s biological father as long as they’re taking care of the child as their own. However, it’s still beneficial for a child to know the identity of their biological father.
At some point, kids will look in the mirror and they’ll want to know where they got their hair or facial features from. They might love their father figure with all their heart and still want to know their biological dad.
The other reason it’s important to establish the identity of your child’s father is to get child support. Say you’re in a relationship with a woman who has three kids, but you’re not married. You may have assumed the fatherly role for the kids, but their biological father still needs to pay child support. However, if you don’t know who the biological father is, it’s harder to pursue a court order for child support.
An interesting side note about history is that it wasn’t always the biological father’s responsibility to support a child if the parents split up. Many fathers would simply deny paternity and pass their responsibility on to the state or church. The invention of paternity tests made it possible to identify biological fathers and hold them accountable.
Paternity tests make it easy to discover a father’s identity
If the biological father is unwilling to pay child support and denies being the father, the court will require them to take a paternity test.
For men who are willing to take the test, there are a variety of paternity tests available to the public. Most of these tests are done with a simple cheek swab and the results are ready within a few weeks. Some paternity tests allow you to collect DNA from several children and fathers under one test making it easier to narrow down the possibilities.
While DNA tests aren’t impervious to error, they are statistically accurate. The 1% of DNA that differs between people consists of genetic markers that can’t be faked.
Paternity tests have been around for a while
Paternity tests have been around for years, but were made popular by talk shows featuring couples who couldn’t agree on the paternity of a child. Sometimes a mother would insist a man is the father of her child only to find out he isn’t. Other times a man would insist he is the father, contrary to what the mother believes, and he turned out to be the father.
While these talk shows were dramatic and probably scripted, they accurately represent the paternity arguments going on in so many American homes.
Kids need to know who their biological father is
Fathers are an important part of the family unit, but America is facing a fatherless crisis. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 19.7 million children live without a father in the home. Despite not living with both parents, some of those kids have a relationship with their father, but many don’t. A handful don’t know their father because their mother doesn’t even know the identity of their father.
According to statistics, fatherless kids are at high risk for:
- Poverty (4x)
- Teen pregnancy (7x)
- Behavioral problems
- Being abused and neglected
- Abusing drugs and alcohol
- Committing a crime
- Getting locked up in prison
- Obesity (2x)
- Dropping out of high school (2)
If the father and mother can’t get along living in the same household, the child still deserves to know who their biological father is. Even if the father isn’t going to be in that child’s life, if the child wants to know who their father is, they deserve to know. They may not ask when they’re five years old, but they will ask when they’re a teenager.
In a perfect world, kids would have their biological fathers
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need paternity tests to identify a child’s father. Kids would have their biological parents as they grow up and there wouldn’t be any confusion. However, that’s not how things are. When a child knows the identity of their biological father, it won’t make up for their absence, but it will answer questions and relieve the anxiety of the unknown.
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
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