Studies show that there are more children raised by single mothers as compared to children raised by single fathers. But in the growing rise of children born to unmarried parents, there are many biological fathers that acknowledge their paternity to their child without having to marry their biological mother. Once a child is born, one way for a father to accept responsibility for his child is by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form. Also, see other parent information forms.
The establishment of legal paternal rights to a child is what an unmarried father will attain when they sign an acknowledgment of paternity. Let us learn more about what a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form is, and what its importance is with not only with regard to the father but for the child as well.
Acknowledgment of Paternity Form
Acknowledgment of Paternity
When a child is born to an unwed mother, she is given the option to have the father fill up a Voluntary Parent/Father Acknowledgment form at the hospital. This gives the father the rights and responsibilities that it brings about. Here are a few points on what happens when a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is filed:
- The father’s name will be published on the birth certificate of the child.
- The child will have a right to earn financial support from both the father and mother.
- Allows for the child to know who his or her father is.
- Access to the father’s family history is given to the child. This is important for when certain health concerns and conditions occur.
- Gives the father the option to place their child as a beneficiary to their health insurance plan.
- Before the child is ever placed for adoption, it ensures that the father is considered first.
- The child is given the right to the father’s inheritance and benefits should something happens to the father.
- Gives the father the right to petition the court for legal custody, visitation rights or placement.
Acknowledgment of Paternity
Notes to the Mother before Filing for Paternal Acknowledgment
The objective of filing for paternal acknowledgment is for the child to earn the benefits they can possibly receive from the father. However, there are certain cases when it is best that the form should not be completed. Also, see child support agreement forms. The mother or other guardians should not complete the form if:
- She does not believe that it is in the child’s best interest for paternity to be authenticated by this man.
- The conception of this child was a result of rape or incest.
- She is not of legal age.
- Harm may affect her, her child, or a guardian of the child because paternity was brought about.
- At the time of the child’s conception or birth, the mother was married.
Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage Form
Limitations of a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Form
Just because a father has acknowledged their paternity to their child, there are a few limitations to the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form. There are certain areas where their responsibilities are limited. Here are some of these points:
- It does not supply legal custody or placement of a child to father. In most states and countries, the sole custody of the child is often given to the mother, unless in certain circumstances of proven abuse, negligence or incapacity to do so.
- Automatic child support order does not occur, however, a court can order child support.
Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage
Steps in Completing the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Form
Step 1: Accomplish the Child’s Section of the Acknowledgment of Paternity Form
Write or type in the full name of the child, name and address of the hospital, date of birth of the child, and their gender.
Step 2: Accomplish the Father’s Section of the Acknowledgment of Paternity Form
The paternal father must supply his full name, place of birth, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. The father must also sign the form in the presence of two witnesses.
Step 3: Accomplish the Mother’s Section of the Acknowledgment of Paternity Form
The mother must supply her full name, place of birth, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and if applicable, maiden name of mother. She must also sign the form in the presence of two witnesses. Also, see parent information forms.
Acknowledgment of Paternity
Step 4: Accomplish the “Official” Section of the Acknowledgment of Paternity Form
The Birth Registrar must supply the Hospital Code, indicate where the form is being completed, and the Recorded District and Register numbers which are often at the top of the form. In this section, the Birth Registrars are the only entities who can enter the district and register numbers. They must duly place their signature and date where it is indicated, which is usually at the bottom of the form.
Step 5: Indicate mailing address
At the back of the Acknowledgment of Paternity Form, both the mother and the father must fill up their mailing address.
As previously mentioned in this article, there are quite many benefits to a child’s life when they are being acknowledged by their paternal father. Filing and completing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form is simple and does not need many or complicated steps in fulfilling its objective.
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