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Purpose

The Paternity Acknowledgment (PA) (see forms) is a document which is used to add a biological (natural) father to a child's birth record.

Restrictions

The PA cannot be used if the mother of the child was married to anyone within 10 months prior to the birth of the child or, if for any reason, there is another father listed on the child's birth certificate.  If the mother was married during this time, or if another father is listed on the birth record, court action will be necessary to establish paternity, amend the birth record, and establish legitimation.

Paternity Acknowledgment

Once filed with the State Office of Vital records, the PA helps establish the father and child relationship.  It is a voluntary agreement between the mother and the biological father to add the father's name to the birth record.  The child's name can also be changed within the first year of birth, if agreed upon by both the mother and father.

Minor Parent

An unwed parent under the age of 18 may sign the PA form without parental consent if:

  1. He/She is on active duty with the military, or
  2. Emancipation has been granted by a court order.

Recission

Either the mother or biological father has 60 days from the date of his/her signature to request to rescind this PA.  After the 60 day rescission period has ended, this signed document may constitute a legal determination of paternity and can only be challenged in a court of law on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the person challenging the acknowledgment.

Rights & Responsibilities

  1. Signing the PA is strictly voluntary.
  2. The mother should not sign the PA unless she is confident that the father signing is the biological father of the child.
  3. The father should not sign the PA unless he is confident that he is the biological father of the child.
  4. By signing the document, it will be presumed by law that the male signer is the biological father of the child, and the child's birth certificate will reflect this fact.
  5. Any change made to the birth record in the future regarding the child's information, mother's information or father's information will require a court order.
  6. The PA msut be notarized and filed with the State Office of Vital Records within 30 days of execution.
  7. Each parent is entitled to a copy of the PA after it has been signed and notarized.

Filing Instructions

Both parties must be present and must bring a valid, state-issued ID.  The child does not need to be present.  The PA, once completed and signed in the presence of a notary public, will be forwarded to the State Office of Vital Records where it will be entered into the State Putative Father Registry and considered a Vital Record.  If both parents do not sign a PA before leaving the hospital or birthing facility, only the mother's name and the child's name will be entered on the birth certificate.  The PA may be signed before a notary public at a later date and mailed to the State Office of Vital Records.  Upon receipt of an acceptable PA form, the certificate of birth will be amended to enter the name of the father and change the child's name, if requested.  For information on how to rescind a signed PA, contact either the State Office of Vital Records or our office at (770) 288-7600.

 
Notice - Establishment of paternity does not entitle the father to custody, visitation or rights of inheritance from or to a child.  Those rights must be established by the filing of a petition for legitimization with the court.

Processing Time

Once the PA is submitted to the State Office of Vital Records, processing time is approximately 4-6 weeks.

Fees

  • If the child is less than 1 year old, there is no fee.
  • If the child is more than 1 year old, the fee is $25.00


We Accept

   

 

We accept cash, money orders, local Henry County checks (must be over number 500, no starter checks), MasterCard and Visa debit/credit cards (card processing fee will apply).