Paternity Establishment: Washington State Division of Child Support
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Division of Child Support

Paternity Establishment


Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity creates a legal relationship between a father and a child. Establishing parentage for a child provides that child many potential benefits. Some of those benefits include:

  • A sense of belonging because the child knows both parents.
  • If your child becomes sick, the family doctor will appreciate a full family medical history.
  • Your child may be eligible for government benefits such as social security or veteran's dependent benefits.
  • Your child may qualify for medical insurance coverage through the other parent's health plan and could become the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Your child may also have the right to future inheritance benefits.
  • Your child will become eligible for financial support from both parents.

Information for parents: If you are a parent who needs to establish paternity for your child, click here

Information for providers: If you are a hospital employee, midwife, or other entity which provides parents an opportunity to sign a paternity acknowledgment, click here