Using the Fragile Families and Child well-being survey, the authors find that establishment rates are high, at sixty-nine percent, and six out of seven are established in the hospital. In-hospital paternity establishment programs have been a federal requirement since 1993. They provide unmarried parents with information about the benefits of paternity and require hospitals to inform parents about the legal obligations that occur, e.g. child support, once paternity is established. These programs are a friendly way to aid non-traditional families. "We believe that increasing fathers' involvement very early in the lives of their nonmarital children may prove to be beneficial for their children's long-term well-being, and we plan to examine these relationships in future work," the authors conclude.
This study is published in the August issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Journal of Marriage and Family (JMF) has been a leading research journal in the family field for over 60 years. JMF features original research and theory, research interpretation and reviews, and critical discussion concerning all aspects of marriage, other forms of close relationships, and families. It is published by the National Council on Family Relations. Information about the National Council on Family Relations can be found at www.ncfr.org.
Ronald Mincy is a professor in the School of Social Work at Columbia University. He worked on the development of federal paternity establishment policies in the Clinton Administration.
Dr. Mincy is available for questions and interviews.