For some Minnesota parents, paternity rights are not automatically granted at birth. Nevertheless, parents seeking rights should understand the benefits that come to those granted paternity. More often than not, it is the father seeking paternity rights of their child. There are many ways to obtain these rights, however, the importance of it is what a parent gains from the legal assurance of paternity.
Most importantly, what a child gains from a father's establishment of paternity can be life changing. A paternity determination secures emotional and financial support from his or her father as well as the right to receive shelter and aid, the right to inherit, the right to access personal information about the known health risks and profiles of the paternal family and the right to sue for harm or death of the father that results in loss to the child. Most importantly, a child gains a sense of emotional and psychological benefit by their father being named. For all of these reasons and more, a child benefits from the naming of his or her father.
Once named in a paternity claim, a child's father is held accountable for his share of support and responsibility. If the father is unwilling to support the child voluntarily, he can be compelled to do so after a successful paternity suit. A father claiming paternity also gains custody and visitation rights to the child. This may not come all at one time; sometimes it can be a slow progression from visitation rights to child custody, which is determined on an individual basis.
There are few relationships in life as important as a child-parent relationship. The success of failure of this relationship can have life long affects for a child. In a perfect world, this relationship between parent and child would be perfect as well. However, we live in the real world where there may be obstacles interfering with a parent's relationship with their child. Therefore, it is important that fathers understand the process of claiming paternity.
Source: family.findlaw.com, "Legal Significance of Paternity," Accessed December 14, 2015