It's usually assumed that completing a child's birth certificate is a simple, straightforward administrative task. Mommy, daddy, and baby all have their names added to the document, a copy is furnished to the parents, and the file is tucked away in the state records. In reality, however, some certificates end up with only two names or the name of someone other than the biological father.
Why Would a Name Be Missing?
Often, the father's name is missing from the baby's birth certificate because his identity is unknown, he was not present to sign the certificate at birth, or he was intentionally omitted at the mother's request.
In some cases, someone else is listed as the child's father. If the man on the certificate was her spouse at the time, he may have automatically been presumed to be the father. If she was not married to him, it's possible she thought he was the father or named him to prevent the biological father from having parental rights.
Sometimes, though, names are accidentally dropped due to a legislative error. Such cases are easily fixed.
Legality Depends on the Circumstances
While a mother cannot be held responsible for a father's absence or unknown identity, purposeful omission or misidentification is a different story. If a woman pretends not to know who the father is in an effort to curtail his rights, she may face a paternity challenge from the father later on. If it's shown that she did know he was the father, she could be in even bigger trouble with the court.
Hospitals may not allow voluntary omission if a non-spouse partner is present for the birth and is clearly the baby's father. If he will not be named directly on the birth certificate, a statement acknowledging paternity in some way is usually required.
Parents are obviously not held legally responsible for typos and other such oversights. Nevertheless, corrections will need to be requested through the appropriate legal channels and forms.
Updating Your Child's Birth Certificate
Before you can be added as the child's father on the updated certificate, you'll need to provide personal identification documents, as well as a declaration of paternity. This declaration will need to be signed by both parents, so you'll only be able to provide one if the mother agrees to your paternity and wants you to be on the certificate.
If your child's mother denies that you are the father, however, you may need to bring a legal challenge against her and pursue paternity testing to prove the child is yours. The court may then order that names be added or removed.
How to Get a Birth Certificate in California (Without All the Waiting)
Whether you need to replace a lost or damaged certificate or provide a copy of one for legal purposes, FastBirthCertificates.com can get it to you faster than ever before. Skip the slow-moving paperwork of office visits and snail mail; get a certified copy of your child's birth certificate online right now!