An Affidavit of Paternity is a voluntary way for parents to establish the legal relationship between father and child when the mother and father are not married to each other. The biological mother cannot complete the form if she was married at the time of conception or birth.
The biological father can complete the Affidavit regardless of his marital status. If either person is not sure that the man signing the Affidavit of Paternity is the biological father, you should not complete the form.
When both parents complete an Affidavit of Paternity it will legally:
• Establish a father and child relationship, enable your child to benefit from that relationship and give a child born to unmarried parents a sense of identity.
• Allow the father’s name to be listed on the child’s birth certificate.
• Establish the father and child relationship without going to court.
• Give the father the right to seek child custody and visitation through a court action and to be consulted about adoption.
• Give your child the right to important benefits from both parents such as financial support, inheritance, social security, veteran’s benefits, life insurance, and health insurance.
• Make it easier for your child to learn the medical histories of both parents and to possibly benefit from medical insurance through a parent’s employer, union, or military service.
If you are under the age of eighteen, you can still sign and file an Affidavit of Paternity without permission from an adult or legal guardian.