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Experts claim infancy is important to parental relationship

A new study conducted by researchers regarding children and their fathers may underscore an issue that some men in New Orleans are facing: paternity. Researchers studied the amount of paternity leave that men are receiving for newborn children and the results are mildly alarming. The results of the study indicated that 5 percent of new fathers get two or more weeks off. Seventy-five percent have a week or less of paternity leave while 16 percent do not have any time at all to spend with their newborn babies. This is important because the earliest moments of a children's life can be extremely important to developing a bond with a child.

Experts say that the bonds created during infancy can lay the groundwork for the long-term relationship between a parent and child. By not being there during these early days, a father may be missing out on developing such bonds, especially if he is not allowed to see the child because the mother has said that he is not the father. If this is the case, a paternity action may be necessary and the sooner it happens, the better: infancy is over before parents know it. If you are involved in a paternity dispute and you want to have access to your children in the future, you should speak with a lawyer about your case. She or he may be able to help you get your paternity confirmed and a child custody determination made soon afterwards. As long as you are open with an attorney about your desires, you may be able to find that such a determination is favorable to you.

Paternity can be determined before birth. But even so, only 15 percent of companies offer paid paternity leave. Even worse is that many men feel the pressure of society to continue working in order to make money, even though they could be spending time with their newborn daughter or son. If you are expecting a child, be sure to consider the importance of those early days, especially if the mother is claiming that you are not the father.

Source:  CBS Boston, "Study: Many Dads Don't Get Paid Paternity Leave" Paula Ebben, Jul. 23, 2013

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