Acknowledging the paternity of your child is a step in the right direction. If you want to prove paternity or acknowledge it, there are different ways that you can do so in the State of Michigan.
In the State of Michigan, acknowledging paternity means that the father voluntarily signs an affidavit of parentage.
The acknowledgment of parentage gives the child the same legal relationship to the father as if the child was born in wedlock. It is retroactive to the birth of the child.
Since there can only be one legal father, an acknowledgement of the parentage goes back to the birth of the child.
When is acknowledgement necessary?
Acknowledgement of paternity is necessary when a child is born to an unmarried mother. Paternity is the granting of legal fatherhood to one person who is an alleged father of the child. It is often started at the hospital when the child is born.
How do I acknowledge my paternity?
To acknowledge the paternity of your child, you and the mother of the child must provide a notarized Affidavit of Parentage (AOP). This notarized Affidavit of Parentage (AOP) is signed by the mother and the alleged father.
In order for the Affidavit of Parentage (AOP) to be valid, there must be a qualified witness in the signing of the affidavit.
Who is a qualified witness?
The following can be considered as a qualified witness:
- a hospital, publicly funded or licensed health clinic, pediatric office;
- Friend of the Court;
- Prosecuting Attorney;
- The court;
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services;
- County health agency;
- County records department;
- Head Start program;
- Local social services provider;
- County jail; or
- State prison.
Should the parents sign and notarize the documents at the same time?
No, the form may be signed and witnessed or notarized by both parents at different times. As long as the following items are provided, the affidavit is valid:
- the full names of the child;
- the mother and the father;
- the date and place of the child’s birth;
- the address of each parent; and
- the birthplace of each parent.
Should the notaries be different for both parents?
No, the same qualified witness and/or notary may serve for both the parents.
How much should the Acknowledgement of Paternity cost?
There is no fee for filing the affidavit with the Central Paternity Registry.
When should we execute the Affidavit in relation to my child’s Birth Certificate?
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), you may execute the Affidavit at any time. The following are some of the clarifications that you should follow according to the MDHHS:
Establishing Paternity at the Hospital
If this affidavit is completed at the time of birth and provided to hospital staff before the birth certificate is prepared and filed, the birth certificate will be completed to include the father with no need for a separate application or fee.
When completed at the time of birth and used as the basis for recording the father on the original certificate of birth, hospital staff must forward the original affidavit, along with the original birth certificate, to the local registrar. The local registrar will forward the affidavit to the Central
Paternity Registry for final filing.
Establishing Paternity After Leaving the Hospital
Birth certificates are not automatically changed when an affidavit is filed. Changes to registered birth records can be requested based upon a properly completed affidavit and an Application to Add a Father on a Michigan Birth
Record (form DCH-0848). If the affidavit is going to be used to add the father’s name to a Michigan birth record, the affidavit must not be mailed to the Central Paternity Registry. It must be mailed along with the correct application to the address listed on the application. A birth record can be changed to reflect the father listed on the affidavit if no other man is recorded on the record as the child’s father. Should a conflict exist, a court determination of paternity may become necessary.
If you are still having trouble acknowledging paternity, or if you are facing a complication, you can always contact us.
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If you require a lawyer who can assist you with ensuring that you protect your rights and gain custody of your child or acknowledge his paternity, it is important to know that you also have a team that can help you out with your specific needs.
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The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
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