Paternity is the formal establishment of a legal relationship between a father and his child. There are several ways that paternity can be established, the most common method is at the hospital with a formal acknowledgment. Once paternity is established, the mother, father and the child all gain some rights. This post will address the rights that the child gains under Florida law.
One of the most important, and underappreciated rights, is the right of your child to access your family medical history. Your child has a legal right to all of your family medical history, to ensure that they have all the necessary answers for any of their own health problems.
Additionally, your child also gains the right to be included on your health insurance policy. Florida explicitly requires that employers offer health insurance to both custodial and noncustodial children.
The child also gains the right to receive support from you. This includes financial, medical and familial support. Your child has an affirmative right to you to give him or her parental services. This generally means you have to be involved in your child's life.
Finally, paternity confers on your child the ability to access financial benefits. For example, your child is permitted to inherit your estate. Your child can access Social Security and your veteran's benefits.
Luckily if you are fighting to get paternity over your child, most of these "rights" are a given when you want to be involved in your child's life. Most fathers who are fighting for paternity would gladly share their medical history, give support and care for their children.
If you are attempting to establish paternity between you and your child then you may want to consult with an attorney. Depending upon the situation, proving paternity could either be relatively simple or rather complicated. An attorney can go over the various situations with you to help you craft a legal strategy to establish paternity over your child. It is your child, you shouldn't have to give up any of your rights.