51 answers

Father's Name on Birth Certificate

******I already updated this and said I got the answer... I talked to someone at the hospital about it. Thank you for your responses.******

My son is 16 and he and his girlfriend (she's 18) are expecting a baby in May. They were told by some of their friends that the hospital they are going to won't allow him to have his name on the birth certificate since they aren't married.
I was wondering if anyone knows anything about this, as I've never heard of it before.

I was thinking of calling the hospital and asking them, but I'm not sure who to talk to. I don't put much faith in what their friends say, because you know how kids are, they think they know everything.

There is no question as to whether he is the father so that's not an issue.

*Forgot to add, they plan to get married after he is 18, and they plan to give the baby our last name at birth.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I spoke to someone from the hospital, there is no problem with his name being on the BC and no problem giving the baby his last name.

thanks for all your replies....

I will be calling to find out for sure. As I said, i don't put much stock in what the teen friends are telling them....I just wondered if anyone had ever had this problem, since my son is underage.

I told them not to worry about it, because his dad and I will be there and we will make sure he is on as the father.
his g/f lives with us (although she shares my daughter's room), so I'll be there when she delivers anyway.... her mom lives an hour away from us, and at least 1 1/2 hours from the hospital, so it will take her a while to get there when the time comes. She has asked us to take care of things when the time comes.

**I should say that she was 17 when she got pregnant and turned 18 since then, they were both minors when she got pregnant. My question was more about my son being underage and being on the birth certificate, because it is this particular hospital we were told about... another hospital in the area (which we do not want to go to) does allow underage fathers who are unmarried to put their name on the BC. It is just this particular hospital.

****There was no statutory rape involved, they were both underage at the time.****

Featured Answers

Hello, I went through this as well because me and boyfriend are not married. The hospital I delivered at gave me a paper for me and him to fill out, called acknowledgement of paternity, basically if you are not married for him to confirm he is the father. You have to do this with the birth register at the hospital. Good Luck.

Hi there,

Not true! I have 2 daughters, 27 months and 8 months old and I am not married to their father yet. He is on both of the birth certificates. We did have to sign an extra form or two about claiming paternity. Good luck!


No this is a lie. The state or hospital does not care of the marital statues. The state wants every child to have a father. One thing if they brake up. the law will hold you responsible for child support. He is a minor if you have any case pending. In other words DYFS could consider you an unfit parent. She is an adult he is still a minor. She could get charges

More Answers

I'm not sure if its different in NY or for minors but in CT I know the father can put his name on the birth certificate. He has to sign an additional form stating he is accepting paternity for the child, and show identification in front of a someone at the hospital who can certify it. I just had a baby 6 months ago and went through this process. You fill out all the paperwork at the hospital. No paternity test required. Its completely up to the father whether or not he wants to accept paternity.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.. I am an RN on the maternity floor at my local hospital. Your son can certainly sign the birth certificate!! When the parents aren't married, we have a seperate form for the dad to fill out. He will need a photo ID (driver's license, passport) and that's about it.
Hope that helps.. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Marriage has nothing to do with it. They both just put there names on the certificate I went through this. She will fill it out and they both sign it. Even if for any reason they break up lets say and she doesn't want to put his name on the B.C. all he has to do is go to court get a DNA test to prove it's his and they will put him on the certificate. More than you needed to know and I hope it doesn't come to that but you never know.

1 mom found this helpful


I actually work with this type of situation daily. A couple of things. First, in NYS his name can be placed as the father and his last name can be given to the child. At the hospital both will sign prior to discharge an "acknowlegment of paternity" where both indicate that they are the parents. Since he is a minor and they are not married it will not be a legal document. To make it "legal" at this point they would have to go to family court to take a DNA test or take one independently. But this will not be necessary unless they will be accessing public resources.

Is she in school? If so, what are her daycare plans? She can go to the Department of Social Services to apply for assistance with daycare. I can let you know the process to this as well if needed.

Does she have WIC, health insurance, etc.

Good Luck

My husband and I were not married when our daughter was born 4 years ago. My name had to be on the bracelet because I was the patient but there was no problem with him signing the birth certificate. My daughter has his last name. We are married now and we all have the same last name but we had no problems then. I never heard of that before. Good Luck and congrats!

sorry this is a bit late (i see you've already posted a "so what happened?") and i didn't read all your responses... but my husband was never married to his ex and his name has been on the birth certificate of their daughter since day 1, so yes, its possible if he wants his name to be on there - my husband just had to sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity paper.

as long as he is there at the time they sign the birth certificate his name can be on it. call the hospital and double check, but it has been that way for years, otherwise you go to vital statistics after teh baby is born and can legally change it. been there done that.

Hi K.,
Their friends are teenagers, they like to think that they know everything but usually they don't. As long as the father acknowledges paternity, it is usual for a father to be listed on the B.C. whether married or not. The only issue that I could see him having in terms of any parental rights would be that he is a minor and baby's mom is an adult but I don't know if that causes any problems or not.
Good luck, I am sure that your son and his girlfriend appreciate your support and I hope that you enjoy your first grandchild.

I don't know what hospital you are going to, but I've never heard of this before. I had both of my kids out of wed (somthing I'm not proud of) and the father was put on the birth certificate. If anything, the Hospital may be upholding a rule since your son is not of legal age. Because he is not yet 18, there may be a state/county/legal law stating he has to do other things before signing the birth certificate. Don't listen to the hospital. Call your county office of records and ask for whoever deals with Birth Certificates. They can help you from there. Good Luck!

P.S. I'm located in Montgomery County, NY and we gave both my sons their fathers last name with no issues what so ever. When the baby was born, they used my last name for ID reason while in the hospital, but on the LEGAL birth certificate, we gave both boys his last name.

I was 20 when I had my daughter. Her father was 22. We were never married. I never had any problem putting my daughters fathers name on the birth certificate, and he did not have to take a paternity test in order to do so. The name on the certificate alone was proof enough that he is indeed the father, he signed the certificate saying he acknowledged he was the father, after all, and it was enough "proof" for NY state Child Support to collect his money. I remember they gave me and my daughters father lots of papers to sign, and one of them asked if either one of us wanted a paterinty test done, you can decline the test, and sign the birth certificate, which basicly by doing that, you agree the child is indeed yours. As far as not being married, there is no law stating you must be married in order to have both parents on the certificate, your son should have no problem putting his name on the certificate. If you call the hospital to ask to make sure,(I would) just call the operator and tell her you don't know where to direct your call and let her know your question. They should be more than happy to direct your call to the appropriate floor. Good Luck and Best Wishes!! Congratulations on the new edition!!
I forgot to mention, we also gave my daughter her fathers last name, with out being married, with no problem. Do not let anyone try to tell your son or his girlfriend they MUST give the child her last name, that is not true. It is their child and they can give it any name, first or last, they wish to give him/her.

He will need to fill out a paternity certificate first. This certificate will state that he is the father of this baby, and does not want or believe he needs a dna test to prove it. He is acccepting all paternal responsibility for this child. It is so binding that even if a DNA test were to show that he was not the father of this child, the responsibilties are still his. Once he signs this paper he is allowed to put his name on the birth certificate. They are young and should not rush into marriage. I had my daughter at 23 with someone who was 21. We dated for 3 years before she was born. By the time she was 8 months old our relationship was over. We are both happily married to other people now. I love my daughter, but I thank God I did not rush into marriage with her father.

As far as I know the hospital has no say as to what goes on the birth certificate. The paper work you fill out (even before leaving the hospital) asked Mothers name, Fathers name both with first Last and middle. Just because they are not married does not change the fathers name. The only thing the hospital may have a say over is if she has a c-section he may not be able to be in the OR. His age may prohibit that. That is the only thing that they can control. The birth certificate is filled out by Mom and/or Dad of the baby. A.


This is not true, my hubby and I don't share the same last name so everyone assumes we are not married and this wasn't even a question. I believe there just some additional paperwork the father will need to fill out if you are not married, but he can certainly have his name there. Follow up with the township the hospital is in as they are the ones that issue the birth certificate. It shouldn't be a problem. Good luck.


I work in the Norwalk Town Clerks Office in Connecticut... Your son may be able to marry her now if they want to. The parent (you) would sign a parental concent form at the town hall where the are getting married. Also, and he should have an I.D. on him when the baby is born to sign the birth certificate. IT DOES NOT matter if they are married. The father is the father! Call your State's Vital Statistics Office to inquire further. ~J.

I would see if there is a women's health number or call information and ask. I've never heard of a hospital refusing this but know that it isn't completely official unless DNA is established by a court.

He can put his name on the birth certificate. Who will be raising the baby as far as the day to day? I ask because when it comes time for school or even day care and say something happens and they don't get married, whoever is the primary caregiver will have a hard time picking the child up, etc if the child's last name does not match the primary caregivers.

My overage cousin got pregnant with her overage boyfriend who is now MIA. They had plans to get married too. She gave the baby his last name. My husband is in a position where he knows a lot about the school policies and knows a lot about the issues that come up. He advised her against it. My cousin will constantly have to proove who she is so that she can sign her own daugher out of school etc in the future. It may be an issue as well when having to seek medical care.

If you son is not going to be the primary caregiver why not have the child's name changed if they do get married in the future. I would want the child to have my last name if I were in his situation, but it can make everyday things we take for granted difficult.

Just thought I'd through his advise out there.

If I remember correctly, I was the one that decided whose name to put down as the father on my son's birth certificate at the hospital. However, because they are not married and perhaps because of his age, there might be something different I do not know about. Like he might have to take a paternity test or something. I will call the hospital and speak with the head nurse of the maternity floor and ask how it works and what has to be done to make sure your sons name gets on that birth certificate.

Sorry, I just reread your posting and see you've got an answer. My response is below.

K., as far as I know, being married has nothing to do with it. At the hospital after the baby is born, your son will just need to sign paternity paper, which confirms that he is the father. His name can then be put on the birth certificate. After all, he is the father. I know scores of couples who did this. At least this is the way it works in new york. Hope this helps.

The birth certificate is a legal document so the hospital has no say so on what names appear on it. If he is 100% certain that he is the father of that baby then yes his name will be put as the father of the child. The baby can carry any last name so it can be your son's, his girlfriend's, or any other last name they choose. The birth certificate must be filled out in full before the baby is released from the hospital however you can have it ammended after (one of my friends named his daughter one thing just to get her released and a couple months later changed her name legally to something else).

Hi K., The few people I know that gave birth out of wedlock had the mother's name on the birth certificate. I do not know if they ask the mom or not. I believe you fill out papers in the hospital and they use the information you give. I'm sure you will get other responses. Grandma Mary

My now husband and I weren't married when I gave birth to our daughter. The hospital said it was the mothers choice. Obviously, I wanted her to have his last name and he wanted it too so there was no issue. But Im pretty sure its the mothers choice.
Just call and ask to speak to whoever does the paperwork. Im sure they would be happy to tell you.

It does't matter if they are married or not. As long as he signs the birth certificate in front of the nurse and his ID, then his name will be on the certificate so dont worry.

Happy New Year!
K. G
What's need is contact with your cities Department of Records. I personally do not believe a hospital can decide who's name can and can not be added to a government document. Look into that. Sounds like you could be seek legal advice in a case like this.
Best Wishes and congratulations! On your new addition to your family.

They are correct. My husband & I weren't married when we had our 1st child (I was 18 & he was 19), & the nurses told me that his name wouldn't be on the birth certificate because of that. There was no problem giving her his last name though. When we received the birth certificate it came along with a correction form, so we were able to add his name on after that. Hope everything works out for them.

That is not true. Couples do not have to be married to parent a child (obviously). The hospital can not restrict that. If it makes you feel better, call the hospital and ask to speak to someone in labor and delivery. They will certainly know.Good luck with everything. :)

The hospital does not have the authority to dictate who is named on the baby's birth certificate. Definitely speak w/ the medical records director of the hospital re: what you heard. Also contact your official registry for birth certificates in your city/town/county.

I live in NY and had a baby before marriage. The way it works is along with the paperwork for the birth certificate there is an ankowledgement of paternity for unmarried couples. If the father doesnt contest that he is indeed the father, he signs the acknowledgement of paternity and will appear on the birth certificate. If there is a question and/or he refuses to sign it, he cant be on the birth certificate. Hope that helps.

That is not true since I was an un married parent at one point. Your son and his girlfriend are the ones who fill out all the paperwork regarding the baby and since they are not married he HAS 2 make sure he signs the Certificate of Parentage. Its basically a form that says he and she certify that he is the biological father of the child. Protects him in the future. I live in NJ so this is what I went through. now in the event that they don't put his name on the birth certificate ( its his right so idk why they wouldn't) after they get married when they go get their marriage certificate he can legitimize (sp) the child that way and change the name on the birth certificate. I hope I helped a little. Good luck.

Hi K.,

I'm sorry for your situation. There is a really great website that might answer some of your questions, I believe it's called American Pregnancy. As your son's mom, it really is your responsibility to learn all about the legal issues surrounding this situation. I'm not sure how it works for minors, but for adults...

Yes, his name does not immediately go on the birth certificate. Usually, he will have to sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity document. I suggest he NOT sign this form until his paternity is established via DNA testing. DNA testing is harmless, can be done via a cotton swab to the interior of the baby's and your son's cheek and takes about 5 business days to come back. It can be done in a doctor's office.
The birth certificate is ammended after the test, your son's name goes on the certificate and the child never has to be any the wiser.
It's important that you get the paternity test. Because your son only has about 60 days to contest the Aknowledgement of Paternity form, otherwise he becomes legally responsible for the baby even if he is not the biological parent. It will cost a lot of money in lawyer fees to have the form reversed. SO DO NOT SIGN THE FORM UNTIL YOU ARE 100% SURE HE IS THE FATHER.

No matter how you feel about your sons girlfriend and no matter how much you trust her, your responsibility is to protect your son. I suggest you learn as much as possible in order to protect his legal rights. Good luck!

That is not exactly true. Since they are not married it is not automatic. He will have to sign a letter stating paternity, this should be given to the mother in the hospital after birth. If he signs the paper and the birth certificate comes without his name on it they can go to the Vital Records Office and have it updated there.


No this is a lie. The state or hospital does not care of the marital statues. The state wants every child to have a father. One thing if they brake up. the law will hold you responsible for child support. He is a minor if you have any case pending. In other words DYFS could consider you an unfit parent. She is an adult he is still a minor. She could get charges

The father's name can be on the birth certificate as long as he is there for the birth. He has to sign an "Acknowledgement of Paternity" paper while at the hospitol. the hospitol has the papers and I think Domestic relations has them as well.

I had the same problem when I went into labor a month early and he wasn't there.


I don't believe that is right. I am not sure if the state of New York works different but in Texas the father's name goes on there, married or not. Unless the mother chooses not to say who the father is, his name goes on there!

My husband was not married to his ex-girlfriend, the biological mother of our 2 girls. We live in CT. Both she and he had to sign a paternity acknowledgment before he could be on the birth certificates, but did not have to take a paternity test. Hospitals and courts prefer to avoid those if possible since they are costly. The paternity acknowledgment can be done in the hospital same time as the birth certificate, then the process is smoother and easier.

Even if your daughter is not married to the baby's father, his name can appear on the Birth Certificate, provided that he is willing to sign the Birth Certificate application, acknowledging that he is the child's father.

Without his signature, having his name put on the
Birth Certificate is not possible, although your daughter can have him listed as the baby's father in the hospital records.

I know that this is how it works in New Jersey, as I recently went through labor and delivery with my best friend's daughter (as my friend has been very sick and was unable to accompany her daughter to the hospital), so I helped her with the paperwork. The baby's father is no longer in the picture, and has moved out of state, and he refused to acknowledge paternity so listing his name on the Birth Certificate was not possible.

That is not true. He can be listed on the birth certificate. As a matter of fact, I had a baby 21 months ago and my hospital id bracelet said mother, and my husband's said significant other!

Good luck and congratulations.

Hi K.
When I had my first child,I wasn't married,the father was able to sign the birth certificate.Prior to discharge from the hospital,they give the mother 2 forms,one is yellow,that will be the form he'll sign,because they're not married and the other form is white,that's for married couples.I don't know if the rules are different in your area,but here in Newark,NJ,that's their procedures.
I hope my advice helped a little.

Hi K.,

I don't think that their friends should be a reliable source, they are just kids. I would call the maternity ward and speak to the nursing supervisor. This person should be able to answer your question. I am sure that married or not, your son will be able to add his name as the father on the B.C..
Good luck with your first grandchild. I hope that he and his girlfriend realize that they are very lucky to have the support of such an understanding parent.


Actually as long as he signs papers to state he is the father he can. I wasn't married to my husband when we had our son and he just signed paperwork. Also depending on where you live and what insurance she is on you may need to advise your son to get married before the baby is born. I know as I got married to my husband right after we had our son and he got took for the hospital bill. that was an expensive 5,000.. congrats on becoming a gramma

Hello, I went through this as well because me and boyfriend are not married. The hospital I delivered at gave me a paper for me and him to fill out, called acknowledgement of paternity, basically if you are not married for him to confirm he is the father. You have to do this with the birth register at the hospital. Good Luck.

When I had my first child, my husband and I weren't married yet. He had to sign something that said he was acknowledging that he was the father, and yes, they put him on the birth certificate. I think they also asked him if he needed a paternity test. But I'm sure it will be fine.

My friend went down this road. Since the are not married he will need to take a paternity test to be on the birth certificate. The hospital administers the test.
The mother also has the option to give the baby your son's last name or her last name. At least that is the way it worked for my friend, in CT...And that was 6 years ago, thinks could have changed.


First off let me start by saying, God Bless you for all you do for all your children.
Secondly, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I was not married and my ex's name was on the BC. My mother wasn't married back in the day and put my step-father's name on the BC. The hospital has no say in it what's so ever. That would be a case of discrimination. And for your own sake don't call and ask because they'll be wondering why you even listened to teenagers in the first place. You can name the baby what ever you want, name any parents you want, it's their perogative. Good luck and Congratulations on becoming a Grandmom.
Love H.

I dont think that is true. Try and call the Hospitals MAternity COordinator and see what they say.

When my son was born, I was not married and under 18. He couldnt get his fathers info until his father filled out a paternity form - no blood testing needed. It was simple a paper, actually my brother also did this last year when his son was born... he filled out a form claiming that he was the father and they simply put is name on the certificate once it was processed. I remember having to return to the hospital once the certificate was recd to have his name changed officially.

Why not call, what could it hurt. Try medical records department. Or maybe the maternity wing. Unless this is a seriously religious hospital with strict rules, which I doubt if they are letting her have the baby there (unmarried), Im sure its something simple as him filling out that form and not as complicated as they are making it.

I would call the hospital and speak with administration and whomever handles the birth certificates. It may also be a good idea to contact an attorney in a family practice. When I gave birth, one of the documents that I filled out with the birth records asks that the father sign the document to recognize paternity. They did not care if my husband signed it since we are married, but your son should try to make sure he gets to do this.

Best of luck!


The hospital I gave birth to always used the mother's name for the baby's last name and that was what was put on the hospital's birth certificate. It didn't matter if they are married or not. I kept my madian name when I got married, so my son has a certificate from the hospital with my last name as his last name. These certificates are not official. They are only a curtesy issue from the hospital. They gave me an official form to fill out for the official state birth certificate, which is used for official government business. On that form I put my hubby's last name, so our son's official certificate has my husband's last name as his "real" name.

Your son can have his name on the birth certificate and his child can take his name. He would just need to sign the appropriate paperwork such as the acknowledgement of paternity and maybe others as well. My daughter's father and I were not married and my daughter took his last name. They will have them fill out the papers right in the hospital. Hope that helps. Good luck. I live in New York.

I am not sure about New York, but in NJ if the father is not married to the mother, if she lists him as the father on the birth certificate, the father must sign a certificate of paternity that basically states that he accepts paternity of the child. The mother could give whatever last name she liked but if she wants to list a father and she's unmarried, the father she lists has to agree.

You can call your county clerk or hall of records, etc., for confirmation of the policy in your area but I suspect your child's friends are misinformed.

Hi there,

Not true! I have 2 daughters, 27 months and 8 months old and I am not married to their father yet. He is on both of the birth certificates. We did have to sign an extra form or two about claiming paternity. Good luck!


I would call the hospital and ask for the maturnity dept. They can give you the correct info.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.