Methods of Establishing Paternity (continued)
The Parents Sign the Affidavit of Parentage
In Michigan, when a woman is unmarried, the initial birth certificate for her child will not contain the father's name unless paternity is established. Unmarried parents of any age can sign the Affidavit of Parentage to acknowledge that they are the legal parents of the child. Signing the Affidavit of Parentage is voluntary, and gives the child the same rights as a child born to married parents.
The Affidavit of Parentage is most often signed in the hospital by both parents when the baby is born. To become a legal document, the signing of the Affidavit of Parentage must be witnessed by a notary public. To notarize the form, both parents must show a valid picture ID (a driver's license, state ID card, work ID, high school ID) and proof of Social Security Number to the notary public.
The Affidavit of Parentage must be notarized at the time of the signing, so it may be completed at the hospital or later at another location where a notary is available, such as a Department of Human Services office, Prosecuting Attorney's office, a Friend of the Court office, or a private attorney's office, or even a bank. After completion, the original Affidavit of Parentage document must be mailed to the Department of Community Health for filing.