For couples who are married when a baby is born, it’s assumed the husband is the father, and it’s his name that appears on the birth certificate. For a single mother, however, there are some pros and cons for putting a father on the birth certificate or getting a replacement birth certificate.
Adding a father to a birth certificate establishes paternity, which has many benefits. However, an acknowledgment of paternity must be signed by the father either at the time the child is born or at some time in the future. In all states, signing this acknowledgment of paternity is completely voluntary.
In California, the unwed father’s name can’t appear on the birth certificate unless he has signed the declaration of paternity. If that father isn’t present after the baby is born, the mother is forbidden to list his name on the birth certificate in his absence. Instead, both parents will need to sign the declaration of paternity and add the father at some point in the future.
Benefits and Potential Disadvantages of Adding the Father’s Name
There are many benefits to the father signing the birth certificate. It makes a child eligible for social security benefits if the father passes away and makes getting child support easier. As well, including the father’s name also entitles a child to coverage for their health needs. Not naming a father on the birth certificate can also mean that full custody of the child may be easier to obtain.
Depending on the relationship that the parents have, adding a name to a birth certificate may be a disadvantage. Anyone named on the birth certificate as the father will have the right to seek parenting time and custody—something the mother may not want. There are many reasons for a mother not putting the father on the birth certificate.
Certain complications can arise when the father is named on the birth certificate but cannot be located. For example, getting a passport for the child may require attending court if the father cannot be found. Court may also be the only option if the mother needs to register the child for school but cannot locate the father.
Listing Someone Who Isn’t the Father
When a mother is not sure who the father of their child is but tells a former or current partner that they are the father, this constitutes paternity fraud. Similarly, a mother who tells a man he’s the father knowing that he is not is also committing paternity fraud. The same is true if both individuals know the man isn’t the father, but the man agrees to sign a birth certificate.
The consequences of committing paternity fraud can have far-reaching consequences, affecting the true biological father, the child, and the man who thought he was the father.
Lost Your Child’s Birth Certificate?
Without a copy of their child’s birth certificate, single moms can have greater difficulty in getting their child many social services. FastBirthCertificates offers the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to get birth certificate copies.
PLEASE NOTE: Currently, FastBirthCertificates does not alter or amend any birth certificates. This blog is for informational purposes only.