I’m pregnant by someone else do I have to do anything to make sure biological father’s name goes on birth certificate?

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

OK – I’m married to one guy who has been in prison for a couple years and I’m pregnant by someone else do I have to do anything to make sure biological father’s name goes on birth certificate?

State: 
Washington

Answer: 

Washington law establishes a rebuttal presumption of paternity in favor of your husband. This means that your husband is assumed to be the father of your child.  However, there is a way to establish the paternity of a biological father not married to the mother.  Assuming you and the biological father are not married at the time of birth, you should complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity and file it with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics (basically you must file with the Washington State Department of Health).

The Acknowledge of Paternity, also called a Paternity Affidavit, is a legal document that you and the biological father will both have to sign.  Often, the Acknowledgement of Paternity form is offered to you by the hospital right after the child’s birth.  If you did not receive the form at the hospital, you can request one through the Department of Health or any state child support office.  Note that you can receive assistance in completing the form from any of the state child support offices.  After you sign the Acknowledgement of Paternity, and file it properly, the biological father’s name can be included on the birth certificate.

In Washington, the Acknowledgement of Paternity is a final legal determination of parentage as long as it was filed after July 1, 1997.  The Acknowledgement of Paternity will not be valid, however, if the child has a presumed father.  If you are still married, your husband is the presumed father.  In order for the Acknowledgement of Paternity to be valid, you would first need your husband to sign a Denial of Paternity and file it with the Washington State Department of Health. 

Both the Denial of Paternity and Acknowledgement of Paternity should be filed with the Department of Health within 10 days of your child’s birth.  Otherwise, your husband will be named as the father on the birth certificate.

Wendy Jaffe and Divorce.com can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by Divorce.com, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to Divorce.com, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.

 

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