How do I get my name on my son's birth certificate? 32 Answers as of June 13, 2013

I have a 3-year-old son. I've had him since he was 2 months old. I wasn't there when he was born so my name isn't on the birth certificate. His mom will sign anything I need. Everybody tells me to get a lawyer. I can't afford that. It's no contest my child. Just need my name on the certificate.

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Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
The reason everyone tells you that you need a lawyer is that you do. As a general rule, you will have to address child support, visitation, custody, a parenting plan and other issues in the required court case.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/7/2012
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
You don't just need to be on the birth certificate, you need to have a custody order. You need to file for paternity and custody in Juvenile court.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/7/2012
Rebecca Rainwater
Rebecca Rainwater | Rebecca Rainwater
You need to contact California Office of Vital Records M.S. 5103 P.O. Box 997410 Sacramento, CA 95899-7410 Telephone: (916) 445-2684 California Relay: 711/1-800-735-2929 http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/default.aspx To change or add the father to your child's birth certificate, you will have to complete one of the following forms: Acknowledgement of Paternity/Parentage: To add the father if he was not identified on the child's original birth certificate. This form must be signed by both parents (if either parent refuses to sign the Acknowledgement form, you will need to go to court using the adjudication process).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/7/2012
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
You need to file a petition to establish paternity.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 9/7/2012
Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
I do not know what state you live in, but you could ask at the family court. You may be able to do this through the State Health Department, Vital Records. You might call them and ask. You do not need a lawyer. You might need a DNA test .
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 9/7/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    If you were not married, getting your name on the child?s birth certificate accomplishes nothing. The easiest way for you to be adjudicated the father is to prepare an acknowledgment of paternity (there is a form), sign it, and have the mother sign it. If the mother was married at the time, her husband is the presumed father and he will need to sign also (denying his paternity). All signatures must be notarized.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    Go on the California dept of health website there should be a form available.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
    Texas response: Your name on the birth certificate has no legal significance, unless you were married to the child's mother at the time of the birth. What would give you legal rights at this point with regard to your child is a determination of parentage by a court. For this, you typically do need a lawyer, but you could make the filing on your own. The child's mother could also call the Attorney General's office and get this process going without initial cost to you, though they will look to someone as the non-custodial parent to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    You need to file what is called a paternity case. It determines that you are the father and will award custody, child support and health insurance
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
    You need to sign an affidavit of parentage: www.michigan.gov/documents/parentage_10872_7.pdf
    Follow the directions on the back of the form to have your name added to the birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    You need an attorney to establish paternity with a dna test.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    I agree with the advice to get an attorney
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    File a Complaint to Establish Paternity and Child Custody. Alternatively contact Vital Statistics and ask them if there is a quicker way.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Contact your local Child Support Enforcement Agency. In Ohio, tnhey are the people who will handle amending the birth certificate to include the father's name. There are legal consequences to this. I encourage you to speak with a family law attorney before you apply to amend.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
    Get an affidavit of parentage, sign it, have the mother sign it and list the child's name as you want it to be on the birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    You must file a petition to legitimate the child in the county where you reside.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Check with vital records in your state for the proper procedure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Contact Maryland Vital Records/Department of Health and file an application to change the birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You need an order of affiliation from a court which will give you the rights and liabilities of a father, the birth certificate is a public record and generally will not be changed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    You need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    Contact the Department of Vital Statistics to determine how to file an amended birth certificate adding your name as the birth father.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Theodora Fader | Theodora Fader
    You can be placed on the birth certificate if you and mom execute and file an affidavit of parentage, If you would like to establish enforceable rights, you would need to file a custody action, even though you and mom are together. You should consult an attorney directly regarding your rights as dad.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Since you don't say what state issued the birth certificate a detailed answer isn't possible. You need to contact the department of vital statistics that issued the birth certificate for information and procedures necessary to issue a new birth certificate listing you as the father. You need to be sure that this is correct because it will be nearly impossible to change later, even if you find out you are not the bio father. That is why you are being told to consult a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC
    Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC | Annette M. Cox
    If she will consent, then you need to do a petition for legal name change. Then once a court order is obtained, simply go to the office of vital statistics to make that change.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    You and her go to the Department of Vital Statistics, in your home state tell them what you want to do they will give you all the forms you need. You do not need a court order unless she fighting you and by what you have said she is willing to go along.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    You may be able to do this by both you and the mother signing an Affidavit of Parentage and filing it with the proper state office. A better course would be start a paternity action where not only would paternity be established but also you and your co-parents rights to custody, child support and parenting time. Without a court order, either party could take the child and deny the other parenting time. While this may not be an issue today, it could become an issue tomorrow and now is the time to resolve these matters while both you and your co-parent are on good terms.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    In Alabama, all of this is handled through the Probate office. Go to your local courthouse and talk to the Probate Judge or someone in his office. There's a procedure to legitimate the child and claim parentage, and the Probate Judge will then send all the information to the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Go to the county and ask for the forms needed to change a birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You can check with the department of vital records, but the only way I am aware of to do this is to actually file an action to change the child's name, submit a consent order, and have that order also state that a new birth certificate will be issued. If the child already has your last name, you would need to retain an attorney to file some type of motion to get a new birth certificate issued with your name on it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    Your name cannot be put on the birth certificate without you being adjudicated to be the legal father. You would need to file a Paternity Action with family court. During the case, DNA would be taken and once the results are returned, you would be adjudicated the legal father. Then with that order you could have the birth certificated changed. Typically this process is smoother with a lawyer since if you do it alone, DHR will be alerted and they will set child support payments. Then you will be responsible for making child support payments through DHR and they will prosecute you if you fail to keep up with your obligation.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/4/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    I am afraid that what everyone says is correct. You must hire a lawyer and commence a custody and parenting time action and, as part of that action,establish paternity and, if you desire, seek to change the child's name. It will be come more difficult the longer you wait.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/4/2012
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