Posted on: 18 December 2015
If you have had a child out of wedlock, and the baby's mother does not want to add your name to the birth certificate, you may be unsure what your rights are. Luckily, as long as you can establish paternity, your name can be legally added to the birth certificate, even if the mother objects. If you are in this situation, you likely have many questions about being a father and the birth certificate. Here are a few questions and the answers.
How Can I Get My Name Added to the Birth Certificate?
In order for a father's name to be legally added to the birth certificate, the father must establish paternity. Establishing this may vary slightly from state to state, but generally speaking, there are three primary ways to do this. If you were married to the baby's mother when the child was born, it is presumed the child is yours and in most states, you can establish paternity using this simple fact. Another way to establish paternity is for both parties to sign an acknowledgement of paternity or parentage form. Both you and the baby's mother agree you are the father. The last way to establish paternity is to take a DNA test. If the mother of your child refuses to acknowledge the child is yours, and you wish to take a DNA test, you may have to petition to get a DNA test through family court. A child custody lawyer can assist you with this.
Will the Baby Have My Last Name if My Name is Added to the Birth Certificate?
As the father, you may wish for your child to have your last name. However, being listed as the father on the birth certificate does not ensure the baby will have your last name. The mother must agree to give the baby your last name. She also has the option of giving the child her last name, if she so chooses.
Do I Get Any Visitation Rights By Adding My Name to the Birth Certificate?
Establishing paternity and being listed on the birth certificate does not grant you any custody or visitation rights. If you wish to obtain custody, you will have to file a custody request with the family courts. A child custody lawyer can assist you with this process, helping you to get the time you need to bond and establish a relationship with your child.
Having a new baby is typically a happy and joyous time. However, if the mother of the child is not being cooperative, you may be worried about getting your name on the birth certificate and seeing the child. Establishing paternity can help you prove the child is yours, which is needed to obtain both custody and to place your name on the birth certificate.
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