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How to Add a Father to a Birth Certificate

    • 1). Write a letter stating the father's name that should appear on the birth certificate and describe the reason for the change. If there was no father ever listed on the birth certificate you will need to have his written and notarized permission. The mother will need to sign this letter as well. Deliver this letter to the department of vital records in the state of birth. Some states require both the parents to fill out an application requesting the amendment and will attach the notarized letter to the application.

    • 2). Pay the required amendment fee, which varies from state to state. You may also need to pay a fee in order to receive a revised copy of the birth certificate.

    • 3). Complete what is known as a recognition of parentage form if the mother and father are not married at the time of the birth. This is an agreement between both parents and the state of birth as to who the child's father is according to law.

    • 4). Request a court ordered paternity adjudication if the mother or father do not agree on parentage. This can be obtained from the county court office where you live. An adjudication is a legal process by which a judge reviews statements and evidence from both the mother and father and makes a decision. In most cases DNA tests will be ordered to help the judge decide whether the father's name on the child's birth certificate needs to be added or changed.

    • 5). Add a non-biological father's name to the birth certificate if he has legally adopted the child. You will be required to provide legal documentation of adoption as well as written permission by the biological father if he is living or known. You may also request a court order to have the biological fathers paternity terminated if he is known. This is a serious step and should be considered only in cases where the father cannot be located or is unfit according to the law. You will need to contact your county court office for assistance on this matter, and an attorney's services may be necessary.

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