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Not every family begins in the traditional way, and there are times when we need to figure out who a child’s father is. Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child's father -- often through the use of DNA testing -- which may be a factor in cases involving child support, custody, adoption, and inheritance. Establishing paternity can help a mother enforce child support orders or, in some cases, reunite estranged fathers with their children. The Paternity sub-section of FindLaw's Family Law Center can provide you with the facts and resources regarding how paternity is established and the subsequent legal effects.

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