Paternity is an important factor in raising a child. To the courts, it makes the difference between visitation and custody rights along with the child support payments you'd need to make. Establishing paternity is vital, because without it, you have few rights as a parent.
Paternity has to be established if you weren't married at the time of your child's birth. You may also choose to seek a paternity test if you were and are unsure that the child is yours. You can establish your paternity in one of two ways. Either seek a court order or sign a voluntary acknowledgement of being the child's father.