Acknowledgment of Paternity Form

Updated March 30, 2022

An acknowledgment of paternity is a voluntary declaration made by a parent to claim their child. It is commonly filled out at the hospital when a baby is born. Although, it can be filed with the local court or Dept. of Vital Statistics (depending on local authority).

Birth Certificate – If the father is listed on the child’s birth certificate, in some States, an acknowledgment of paternity is not required.

By State

When do I File?

An acknowledgment of paternity can be filed at any time during the child’s life. It is not needed, in most cases, if the father is already listed on the child’s birth certificate.

Where do I File?

An acknowledgment of paternity can be filed with the local Vital Records office.

What happens if I am NOT the Father?

It is decided by the State laws or a local court to determine the outcome.

In most States, if the father was recognized in the first 2 years of the child’s life, it cannot be reversed even with a blood test or the mother’s admission.

Furthermore, some States require that if a person has lived in the same household as a child and acted as their father for a specific number (#) of years, it doesn’t matter if there is any blood relation. The court may consider being a “father figure” as enough to claim the person as the father of the child.

What are the Requirements for Paternity?

There are no requirements for paternity, it is a voluntary act by the father. An unmarried single mother can request court-ordered paternity if the alleged father is unwilling.

An individual does not need to be a genetic father to claim to be the legal father of a child.