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Sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement Form or Parentage/Paternity Affidavit

The process of establishing paternity is easier when the father agrees that he is the legal father. If both parents agree to sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement form or Parentage/Paternity Affidavit, the birth certificate will name the father.

A hospital, midwife, or birthing clinic staff person will help you complete the form, answer questions, and submit the paperwork. Most hospitals, midwives, and birthing clinics can also notarize the form for you. This means that they confirm the form is valid. This form becomes legal once it is notarized and filed at the office of Vital Records or Office of Health Statistics for your state.

If you sign at your child's birth, you will not need to pay a fee to file the affidavit form. There may be a small fee to later add the father to the child's birth certificate.

If you do not sign the form when the child is born, you can do it at a later date. You can get the form at the hospital, local health department, child support office, county Registrar of Local Records, County Clerk's Office, or the state Office of Vital Records.

This option should be used only when both the man and the mother are sure that the man is the only possible natural father of the child.

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