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The establishment of paternity is important to ensure that children receive equal rights and access to many benefits. In an effort to increase paternity establishment and its resulting benefits, the California Department of Social Services partners with licensed hospitals and clinics with birthing facilities through the Paternity Opportunity Program (POP). This voluntary in-hospital program involves about 360 of California's licensed medical facilities including 14 in Riverside County.

The medical facility where a child is born is the best place to establish paternity as both parents are often available to receive information and immediately sign the Declaration of Paternity at the time of the baby’s birth. It is a quick, easy, and free way for unmarried parents to create a legal connection between father and child(ren) and avoid the time-consuming, complicated, and costly process of establishing paternity later.

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