Adding a Father to a Birth Certificate in Washington

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 How To Add a Father's Name to a Birth Certificate in Washington State

If the father is not married to the mother at the time the child is born, his name is not added to the birth certificate in Washington.

There are only two ways to add or remove a parent from a birth certificate under Washington birth certificate laws: Acknowledgment of Parentage (AOP) or a Court Order.

Acknowledgment of Parentage
The Acknowledgement of Parentage is a legal procedure that is used to:

  1. Create a parent-child relationship.
  2. Include a second parent’s name on the birth certificate.

Court Order
A court order is required if:

  1. There are some doubts about who the child’s parents are.
  2. The parties cannot agree on who is the child’s parent.
  3. The parties want to change the parent(s) listed on the child’s birth certificate.

How to Get a Paternity Acknowledgment Form

An AOP is a legal document that establishes a parent-child connection, sometimes known as “parentage.” This form is used to add a second parent to a child’s birth certificate.

  • Note: Some parents who are already on a birth certificate due to marriage or registered domestic partnership may choose to file an AOP to show parentage outside of Washington State.

You can download the form here: 422-159 Acknowledgment of Parentage form.

If any of the following situations apply, you and the child’s mother/birth parent must use the AOP form:

  • If you are the child’s genetic father/parent but have never married the mother/birth parent.
  • If you are or have ever been married to the mother/birth parent during the pregnancy.
  • If you married the birth mother/father after the child was born and filed an Assertion.
  • If you shared a home with the child for the first four years of their existence and believe the child to be your own.
  • If you and the mother/birth parent conceived the child using artificial insemination.

An AOP form can only be utilized if everyone agrees and no one else claims to be the child’s parent.

An AOP must be signed by both the mother/birth parent and the child’s second parent.

If the child’s birth certificate currently lists two parents, a Denial of Parentage (DOP) form is required to replace the second parent.

This is not the same as a birth certificate form. If you’d like to order a new birth certificate with both parents listed, you need to submit a 422-182 Birth Certificate Order form with a $25 check or money order payable to DOH. A copy of the requestor’s identification is required.

A court order is required in all other cases to add or remove a parent from a birth certificate.

If a person is mentioned as the father on a child’s birth certificate, they are considered the legal father for all purposes. The presumption of paternity (a legal word that essentially indicates that they are presumed to be the father) is very strong. The general presumption is that the father is the father of the kid if he is married to the mother at the time of conception or birth.

As a result, if the person indicated as the kid’s father on the birth certificate wishes to claim their rights or contest their legal relationship with the child, they must do so as quickly as feasible.

This is because, in some situations, DNA tests were performed, and the results indisputably indicated that the person named on the child’s birth certificate was not the actual father.

Despite the DNA results, a judge put all necessary legal obligations on the individual indicated on the birth certificate rather than the genuine biological father.

This means that, even if they were not the father, the court puts more weight on the name on the birth certificate than the DNA results, and as a result, that individual may be accountable for duties such as child support.

Overall, someone designated as the father on a birth certificate has all of the same rights as a biological father, which include:

  • Child Custody;
  • Child Support and Visitation Rights;
  • Adoption Consent Rights

In general, if the father has already signed the birth certificate, they will find it difficult to argue that they are not the biological father.

Alternatively, even if the person on the birth certificate is not the actual father, but the court rules that they are legally liable, this person will be responsible for all of the rights already outlined.

For all of these reasons, it is critical that a person contest or refuse to sign a birth certificate if they do not feel they are the legal father. Otherwise, the effects could cost the person a lot of money to establish they are not acting responsibly and harming the child and its future.

How Do I Fill Out the Paternity Acknowledgment Form?

Page 1 must be signed by each parent in the presence of a notary or witness.

On page 1, the notary or witness must sign.

Submit the completed AOP along with an $18 non-refundable check or money order made payable to DOH.

No payment is necessary when the parents return this AOP to the hospital within 5 days of birth. The hospital must submit the AOP to DOH within 10 days.

What Are the Consequences of Not Meeting the Requirements?

To establish legal paternal rights to a child, an unmarried father needs to sign an admission of paternity form. Without a signed AOP, an unmarried father has no rights to a child and must go to court to establish paternity later.

If parents cannot agree to sign an admission of paternity, they may need to appear in court to establish paternity. If paternity is established after the birth certificate is issued, the certificate might be modified depending on the findings of the court.

An acknowledgment of paternity will necessitate some basic facts, such as the child’s complete name, the mother’s full name, and the father’s full name. The date of birth, residence, and Social Security number of the father is also required. Both parents must sign and have the AOP notarized.

Certain legal paternal rights are established by signing the AOP. The father shall be guaranteed the right to be responsible for child support, use their last name on the kid’s birth certificate, and be consulted in case of an adoption proceeding involving the child.

When signing an admission of paternity, certain rights are not guaranteed. One example is child custody, which is not guaranteed in most states for parents who sign an AOP. If a father wishes to seek custody or visitation rights for his kid, he must do so in a separate proceeding.

Signing an AOP early on may be a bad idea when paternity is in doubt. Although these documents are legally binding, they can be revoked if paternity fraud is suspected or if minors sign them. AOPs and other legal documents pertaining to children born out of wedlock should be fully understood before signing due to their potential long-term ramifications.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If a parent refuses to include the father’s name, or if a party requires assistance filling out the form, he should contact an experienced Washington father rights lawyer. The lawyer can assist and advise you on all legal issues pertaining to your child’s birth certificate and your father’s rights.

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