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Father's Name on the Birth Certificate

Pros and Cons of Listing a Father's Name on the Birth Certificate

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It may be difficult for a parent to determine whether to list the father's name on the child's birth certificate. For married parents, the husband is automatically assumed to be the father of the child. However, unwed mothers are asked to provide the name of the birth father when the birth certificate paperwork is being completed. Let's explore factors that should be considered when deciding whether to list the father's name on the birth certificate:

Pros for Listing the Father's Name on the Birth Certificate

There are several benefits to adding the father's name to a child's birth certificate. A child whose father is listed on the birth certificate is entitled to the following benefits:

  • Death benefits, such as Social Security, in the event of the father's death
  • Child support
  • Health insurance, if eligible

Cons for Listing Father's Name on the Birth Certificate

Although there are several benefits associated with adding a father's name to the child's birth certificate, there are also drawbacks, including:

  • Having to go to court if you can't locate the father and you want to have a passport issued for the child
  • It may be difficult to register the child for school without a court order if the other parent cannot be located
  • Father can assert parental rights at any given time (which only a con if the child's mother does not want that to happen)

Documents Required to List the Father on a Child's Birth Certificate

Hospitals generally require the following information to add a father to the child's birth certificate:

  • Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form signed by both the father and mother
  • The signing of the AOP must also be witnessed and signed by two uninterested parties

Adding a Father's Name on the Birth Certificate After It's Been Issued

Although it is preferable for parents to add a father's name to the child's birth certificate at the time of birth, it is possible to add the father's name to a child's birth certificate after the birth certificate is issued. Although the process varies by state, you can generally expect:

  • To pay an additional charge to add a name to the child's birth certificate after the child leaves the hospital
  • To wait a long time to receive the corrected birth certificate

Process to Amend the Child's Birth Certificate After It's Issued

In order to amend the child's birth certificate after it's issued, a parent would need to do the following:

  • Submit a copy of the original birth certificate to the Department of Vital Statistics in your state
  • Pay the applicable fee
  • To ask the father to sign an affidavit acknowledging paternity
  • A new birth certificate with the child's name will the be sent to the parents
  • It may take at least a month to receive a new birth certificate

There are several reasons why a mother should consider adding a father to the child's birth certificate, but in the end, it's a personal choice. For more considerations about whether to add the father's name to the birth certificate, speak with a qualified attorney in your state.

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