If you have a child and were not married to his or her mother, then you should consider establishing paternity. Legally making a claim of being the father of a child in Indiana affords you specific rights to the child and also gives the child specific rights. Without established paternity, it can make it harder for you to be involved with your child and to ensure his or her needs are taken care of.
According to the Indiana Department of Child Services, establishing paternity gives you the legally right to be involved in your child's life. You can request custody or visitation rights. You have the ability to help care for the child and make decisions about his or her life. You also have the ability to get information about your child's schooling.
In addition, to what you gain from establishing paternity, your child also gets benefits. By becoming the legal father, your child has access to benefits from Social Security, life insurance and Workers' Compensation should you die. Your child can also be considered a legal heir to your estate. Beyond that, your child gains the right to know you and develop a relationship with you that can be very beneficial to his or her mental and emotional health.
In short, establishing paternity gives you rights to your child that you otherwise would not have. It gives you a legally standing when it comes to your child, so establishing paternity is very beneficial. This information is for education and is not legal advice.