Paternity means legal fatherhood. Establishing paternity helps ensure support from both parents, allows the child to have the father's last name and access family medical history. It also allows access to social security survivor benefits, inheritance or to establish Native American tribal membership for the child.
There are four ways to be a father:
Be married to the child’s mother when the child is born, whether living together or not.
Acknowledge paternity using an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form. If either parent has any doubts about who the father is, they should not sign an AOP.
Be determined as the father by a judge through the court process. You may apply for services
with CSS to request DNA testing
to establish paternity and child support orders.
Adopt the child.
Handbook (.pdf, 12 pp, 1.3 MB)
Your Day in Court (.pdf 6pp, 173 KB)
Your Day in Court (Video)
Acknowledgment of Paternity Form (.pdf, 3 pp, 204 KB)
Rescission of Acknowledgment of Paternity (.pdf, 1 pp, 149 KB)
Denial of Paternity (.pdf, 2 pp, 230 KB)
Rescission of Denial of Paternity (.pdf, 2 pp, 142 KB)
Adult Child's Consent (.pdf, 1 pp, 271 KB)