Paternity Establishment is the critical first step in ensuring the father is in the child’s life. If a child is born to unmarried parents, the biological father must be legally identified before a father’s name can be added to the child’s birth certificate. This process is called establishing paternity. Without a legal father, a child may miss out on many of the things that children with married parents are automatically provided. The child benefits by having the advantage of knowing both parents and a sense of family heritage. If paternity is not established, the father’s name will not appear on the child’s birth certificate.