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The Father-Child Relationship in Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Cases

This report examines the effect of voluntarily acknowledged paternity on the relationship between fathers and their nonmarital children in the two to five years after the child’s birth. Previous research has shown the benefits of paternity establishment for nonmarital children, particularly in the area of financial support during their childhoods. Given this, policy makers have tried to improve the paternity establishment process, in part by establishing in-hospital and other voluntary procedures. The question addressed by this paper is whether voluntary paternity establishment is associated with differences in the father-child relationship in the early years of the child’s life.


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, Custody & Placement, Paternity Establishment