ORDER YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE ONLINE
If you want to be recognized as the biological and legal father of a child (especially if the mother and you are unmarried) and your baby is already born, you may want to take steps to sign the acknowledgement of paternity form.
Not everyone has to sign one and not everyone can. Keep reading to find out what the AOP process entails.
The AOP is an important and legal document used to establish biological parentage of a child — specifically, paternity — in the U.S. and has important implications. It affects and/or determines:
The AOP must be signed voluntarily by both parents in order to be considered valid. It effectively recognizes the child’s legal father.
The acknowledgment of paternity can only be signed and considered valid if:
The AOP is often completed and signed at the hospital or facility where the child is born. The effective date of the AOP will eventually be the one when it is filed with the local registrar.
Some states allow parents to sign the AOP before the child is born. However, it will only become valid once the birth has occurred.
If you sign the AOP at the hospital, the completed form is usually filed for you with the registrar. You will then receive a certified copy of the document in the mail.
In case you have not signed the form at the hospital or facility where the child was born, you will have to file it yourself by taking it or mailing it to the local registrar. You will then receive a certified copy via mail.
The acknowledgement of paternity carries legal implications. The legal father of the child shares rights and responsibilities with the mother, such as:
Absolutely. The signature must be provided voluntarily. You should not sign the AOP if you have doubts regarding the paternity of the child or/and the document’s legal implications.
You can also change your mind and rescind the AOP you have already signed if you do so within 60 days.
Yes, if the AOP is signed after a birth certificate has already been issued, the relevant office for vital records will issue a new certificate that reflects the paternity established by the AOP.