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Establish Paternity


Give Your Child The Gift That Will Last a Lifetime

What is Paternity?

Paternity is a legal relationship between a father and a child.

If parents are not married when a child is born, the father’s name cannot be added to the birth certificate without establishing paternity.

There are several ways parents can establish paternity, but the easiest way is to complete a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity at the hospital when the child is born.


""How is Paternity Established?

When a baby is born to unmarried parents, paternity must be established to place the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate. Hospital staff will help parents complete the paternity forms after the baby is born.

Why is Establishing Paternity Important?

  1. Ensure the child’s right to a legal father-child relationship;
  2. Add the father’s name to the birth certificate;
  3. Protect the parents’ rights;
  4. Enable access to family medical information; and
  5. Secure the child’s benefits such as financial and medical support, Social Security, veteran benefits and inheritance.


Where can Information on Paternity Establishment be Found?

For more information on the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and other ways to establish paternity, contact Healthcare and Family Services’ Child Support Customer Service Call Center at 800-447-4278 or visit the Child Support Web site.



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HFS 3418 (R-11-12)

Forms and Brochures


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