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Acknowledgment of Paternity

If the mother is not married when a child is born, the child has no legal father and the biological father has no rights or responsibilities to the child.

The mother and father can sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. This form is usually filled out at the hospital when the child is born but is also available in the local child support office and local birth registrar. It names a person as the father of the child and gives him the right to custody of the child, the right to visitation with the child, and the responsibility of paying child support. This form will also allow the child's father to be named on the birth certificate.

Only unmarried parents can fill out the Acknowledgment of Paternity form. If the mother is or was married any time during the pregnancy, the Acknowledgement of Paternity form must not be used.

This is a voluntary form. This means that both parents sign the form of their own free will. Both parents shouldn't have any doubts about who the biological father is or other concerns. The Acknowledgment of Paternity form can be signed later or a paternity case can be brought in Family Court for an Order of Filiation.

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