Why should fathers in California care about establishing paternity? For some, this is an easy question to answer. For others, the answer may not come as fast. In any case, you may find it important to understand how to establish paternity. 

VeryWell Family looks at how to establish paternity. There are two ways you can volunteer to establish paternity as a father. One is by being present when your child is born. There, you sign a Declaration of Paternity. This also allows you to have your name placed on your child’s birth certificate. 

Sometimes fathers cannot be there when their child is born. If this is your situation, it is still possible to establish paternity. You can complete an affidavit of paternity as long as you do so before the child turns 18. If you do not do this before the hospital issues the birth certificate, you can still edit it later to add your name. 

Are you a mother looking to establish paternity with an uncooperative father? You have options. What if the father does not voluntarily acknowledge paternity? You can turn to genetic testing. When a father does not submit to genetic testing, courts may declare him father by default. If the test determines that the child is his, he has a chance to contest the results. If he does not, the results become definitive proof of paternity after 60 days. 

There are many reasons to establish paternity. Doing so is useful for both the father and mother of relationships. This is true no matter what your reason is for establishing paternity.