Establish Paternity

Establishing paternity is the critical first step in collecting child support. When legal paternity is established, a child has the right to the father's Social Security or veteran's benefits, medical coverage, pensions and inheritance. Also, the medical genetic information of both parents is available for the child if needed for diagnosis and treatment of medical problems.

How Can Paternity be Established?

  • To make it easier for unwed parents to establish paternity at the time of the child's birth, Illinois law makes it possible for both parents to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Form HFS 3416B (pdf) in the hospital. Signing this form eliminates the court process and is vital to having the father's name added to the birth certificate.

  • Parents who do not sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Form HFS 3416B (pdf) at the hospital may sign it later at any local registrar of vital records, county clerk's office, local Department of Human Services office or child support services office. The form can also be completed, witnessed at home and mailed to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Administrative Coordination Unit, 110 West Lawrence, Springfield, Illinois 62701.


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