Parentinglogy – Giving birth is one of the best moments in life, but thinking about birth certificates can wash away all the happiness. Especially if you are a single parent or unmarried mother, filling out a live birth certificate can be challenging. In many cases, mother not putting father on birth certificate is considered the best solution to solve this problem.
Many questions raise. What are the implications of not having father’s name on birth certificate?
Can the father add his name to the birth certificate later? If you have similar questions, you’ve come to the right place. Find all the answers right here.
Pros and Cons of Putting Father on Birth Certificate
According to research, around 40 percent of US babies are born to unmarried mothers. While giving birth certificate to every newborn is a must according to US laws, mothers who are not married have two options: list father’s name on the birth certificate or not.
A moment after giving birth, a mother should fill out a form to create a birth certificate. The form will ask for some information including the information of the newborn, mother, and father.
In the case of an unmarried mother, she can decide whether or not the birth certificate contains the father’s name.
In other words, listing father’s name is completely personal and the mother may have different reasons not to put father’s name on the certificate.
For example, a father who is not present at the birth will likely not appear on the certificate.
Or, when a mother can’t locate him or even doesn’t know who he is, she can make a birth certificate without putting father’s name.
In some cases, the mother fills the father’s information on the application form. But when he doesn’t sign the Acknowledgement of the Paternity Form, his name won’t appear on the certificate.
Is It Illegal not to Put Father on Birth Certificate?
Birth certificate without father’s name is quite common in the US. However, many parents are still asking if it is okay for the child.
Naming a father on the birth certificate does bring a lot of benefits for your child, but deciding not to put his name is also fine.
The absence of father’s name on the certificate doesn’t mean he can’t request visitation or custody.
If the father wants to go through establishing paternity process, he will be a legal parent of your child.
This means he will have all parental rights, including custody and visitation, as well as responsibilities like paying child support and care.
On the other hand, a father who does not establish paternity has no right to care for the child.
Also, he has no responsibilities so he doesn’t have an obligation to pay child support. In this case, the mother not putting father on a birth certificate may cause the father to neglect the child.
As a consequence, a single mother should struggle to raise the child on her own.
How to Put Father on Birth Certificate
To assert parental rights, the father can add his name to the birth certificate even after it is issued.
To make it happen, the father should establish paternity by signing a legal acknowledgment of paternity.
Child Welfare Information Gateway mentions that there are two ways to establish paternity.
- Father can voluntarily acknowledge paternity
A father can add his name to the birth certificate by voluntarily acknowledging paternity. The father needs to file an affidavit of paternity form and put his signature on it.
This affidavit contains an acknowledgment that he is the father of the child and he would like to be recognized as a legal father. This process may also require Mother’s signature.
- Father can file an acknowledgment of paternity through a court
In case the man refuses to establish paternity, child’s mother may petition the court. This court may request genetic testing to ensure the man is a biological father of the child. Once paternity is established, the man has responsibility to pay child support.
Benefits of Having Father’s Name on the Birth Record
Mother not putting father on a birth certificate is completely a personal decision of the unmarried couple. However, mothers who are not married can consider a range of benefits when naming the father on the birth certificate.
Not having father’s name on the certificate is fine but your child may miss these benefits:
Having father’s name on the birth certificate allows him to get custody in a much easier way. It’s true that the father can file a request to add his name later but it requires a process.
Financial support from the father
In case of no father on birth certificate, she has to accept the consequence that the child’s father has no obligation to pay any child support.
It can be troublesome if the mother doesn’t have a strong financial basis.
Social security benefits
The child whose birth certificate includes his father is eligible to receive death benefits when his father died.
But when there is no father’s name and he doesn’t establish paternity, the child has no eligibility to receive such social security benefits.
Facts about Naming the Father on Certificate of Live Birth
A lot of mothers have a wrong perception about including father’s name on birth certificate.
Not to mention there is plenty of confusion about single mothers and birth certificates. To help you with this, check out the following facts about naming the father on the certificate.
- To be included on the certificate, the father doesn’t have to be present at the birth of the child. In fact, a father can involve his name on the birth record provided he signs the acknowledgment of paternity form.
- In case the birth certificate has been issued without mentioning father’s name, a father can establish paternity and include his name on the certificate.
- To include the father’s name, mother must sign the affidavit of paternity form.
In brief, mother not putting father on birth certificate is an intensely personal decision. But in case the father wants to participate, he can voluntarily establish paternity. Despite not involving the father on the birth certificate is legal in the US, naming the father gives some benefits to the child such as father’s responsibility and social security in case the father died.