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Family courts must consider fathers' rights

South Carolina unmarried fathers have certain rights. A man is automatically recognized as the baby's legal father with equivalent legal parental standing when he is named on the birth certificate. He is also more likely to pay child support. Fathers' rights focus on fairness. Fathers want an equal opportunity for a relationship with the child.

According to a study published in the journal Human Nature, paternity establishment begins at birth. The father should be named on the birth certificate. If the parents are married, the husband will usually be named. However, 40.6 percent of babies were born to unmarried mothers in 2013. It is important for the mother to name the father on the birth certificate and for the father to sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity when they are not married.

These actions protect fathers' rights. Involvement during pregnancy may increase the likelihood that the father will sign the Acknowledgement of Paternity. Mothers have the option to address involuntary paternity. Approximately 750,000 babies per year are born without a legal father. College-educated women with private health insurance were more likely to establish paternity and gave birth to higher birthweight/Apgar score babies. A male/singleton was more likely to result in paternity establishment. Second-born babies had higher paternity establishment than firstborns. Paternity establishment dropped for second or third babies in African-American families. Mothers breastfed infants more often when legal paternity was established.

DNA testing is sometimes used to settle a paternity dispute. Men will want to have their paternity established when seeking their parenting rights, and once it has been, they may want to have legal assistance in obtaining visitation.

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