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What to Know About Including a Father on A Birth Certificate

The Collin County Law Group Feb. 5, 2020

If a child’s parents are not married when he or she is born, the father’s name won’t necessarily be on the birth certificate. This could be true even if the mother lists his name on an application. To be included on the document, a father would need to sign a form acknowledging paternity. It is important to note that an unmarried partner can ask for child custody or visitation rights whether he is on the birth certificate or not.

Furthermore, a judge wouldn’t grant or deny the request based on whether or not his name was on the birth certificate. A father does not need to be present when the baby is born to be added to this document. Furthermore, the baby would not necessarily be given the father’s last name unless the mother agreed to do so. If a father is included on a birth certificate, the state may attempt to collect child support payments if the mother applies for public benefits.

The state may also conduct a paternity test if a mother files for financial support from a man who has not voluntarily acknowledged that he is a child’s father. A paternity test will also likely be ordered in the event that a man asks for custody or visitation rights to a child he believes is his.

Those who have a child out of wedlock may want to consult with a family law attorney. Doing so may make it easier for each parent to learn his or her rights and responsibilities after the child is born. If a man refuses to acknowledge paternity, the child’s mother may take action to compel that person to take a paternity test. If paternity is established, a father will likely be responsible for making child support payments.