Laws About Giving Baby Dad's Last Name If Dad Doesn't Show up to the Hospital

Updated on June 21, 2011
S.A. asks from Rockford, MN
15 answers

this actually ties into my last question. I'm also wondering if anyone know the minnesota state laws about giving the baby his father's last name if the father doesn't make it to the hospital. Me and the baby's father are not together anymore and he lives in a different state so I don't know if he will be able to make it to the hospital before me and the baby leave. The father has never once said he isn't the father. We both want his last name to be the baby's last name. I'm worried that since I am still married that the state will make me give the baby my husband's last name even if we know he's not the father. I know the father does want to be in his son's life as much as he can but he not only lives in a different state but he works over the road and is hardly ever home. Which is why we decided to call it quits. He is currently working so I don't know if he will be able to get the time off to come to Minnesota to be there for the birth.

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So What Happened?

I talked to someone at the hospital, they said they already had a situation simmilar to mine. I can give my baby any last name I want to, but to have the father on the birth certificate and not my husband I have to have my husband sign papers stating that he is NOT the father of my baby. Then I have to have the father sign papers saying that he IS the father. If I want it done right away they both have to come to the hospital. If I just have my husband come and sign papers then there will be no father named on the birth certificate until the father signs papers. The most important part of this that i can see is getting my husband to sign the papers saying he is NOT the father so that he doesn't end up on the birth certificate. The father can sign papers later. I will keep you all posted and tell u exactly what happens after the baby is born.

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answers from Dallas on

How involved is he going to be? This is mostly presumptive but sounds like if he's in another state and has bailed on you already, he won't be all that involved. I think I'd give the baby MY last name if I were in that situation.

Edit My Answer
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answers from Dallas on

How involved is he going to be? This is mostly presumptive but sounds like if he's in another state and has bailed on you already, he won't be all that involved. I think I'd give the baby MY last name if I were in that situation.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What differance does it make if he gets to the hospital? Thats really odd. How many men are in Iraq when thier children are born? Just because you are at the hospital (kind of have to be if you're the one having the baby) doesn't give you more or less rights. You can name your child what you want, he can go to court to petition the court change it if he wants. List him as the father on the birth certificate. He can then disoute that if he wants. If you go to court for child support, he can ask for a paternity test, and he has the option to ask that the name be changed.

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answers from Redding on

Doing birth certificates at a hospital in California, I'm fairly certain that even in Minnesota, you can name your baby whatever you want. You can pick a last name out of a hat if you feel like it.
However, the father cannot be on the birth certificate unless you both sign a declaration of paternity which the hospital will give you.
I've seen just about every situation you can imagine. One baby came 4 weeks early and dad was out of state working. He couldn't get back in time before mom and baby were discharged. One father had been in a serious car accident and was in ICU and wasn't physically capable of understanding or signing the papers. Another sad instance, a father died just days before the baby was born.
In those instances, the birth certificate was submitted without the father's information and could be amended later. As for the father who passed away, they took DNA samples so that paternity could be established after the baby's birth and the father could be on the amended birth certificate.
Some moms were very upset about the father not being on the birth certificate, but I told them it was actually to protect their men. I would love to say that Kevin Costner is the father of my children, but Kevin gets to have a say in that.
Establishing paternity is an issue separate from the baby's legal last name.

You can contact your county office of vital statistics. In California, the declaration of paternity can be mailed to the father, his signature witnessed and notarized, and he can be on the birth certificate even if he isn't present for the birth. They will also be able to tell you the specific state laws regarding last names, but it's my understanding you can choose "Miracle Child" or anything else you want.

Best wishes.

*** I want to edit my answer to include that the husband being "presumed" to be the father only applies in instances where the parents are married but separated and there is no contesting paternity.
In your case, you KNOW the man you are legally married to isn't the father so that presumption is moot as far as what goes on the birth certificate or what last name you give your baby.
Unless you can get a declaration of paternity in time from the actual father, all you have to do is say that the father's information is WITHHELD. That doesn't mean the information is UNKNOWN, it's just being withheld at the time the birth certificate is submitted. It can be amended later.
We have 10 days to submit a birth certificate and register a birth.
Hope this helps.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

As far as I know, you can name your child anything you want to, first and last.

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answers from Kansas City on

You can give the baby any last name you'd like. You could say the baby's last name is Supercalafragalistic if you wanted to.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I live in Minnesota and they just asked me what the last name would be and how to spell it. No one asked me any questions. The hospital staff did get a little confused by my baby having a different last name than me and some how they added his last name to mine in their record system (but they didn't get confused with the second child). But I had no problems with giving my children the last name I wanted them to have.

I'm not aware of any laws specific to that, but you can check out

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answers from Richmond on

You could make the last night something totally made up if you'd like (here in VA)... After giving birth at the hospital, usually a social worker comes in just to see how things went, and they would be the appropriate person to ask.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I'm a little confused by this post. Do you not want to use the last name of the man that is the father of your baby? Since you are still married to someone else (per your other post) are you still using his last name? Are you wanting to use your husband's last name for the baby or your maiden name? In many states if you are married it is pre-sumed the baby belongs to your legal husband whether it is or not.

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answers from Los Angeles on

same as Nikki..I'd give my last name in your sitch.

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answers from Hartford on

Give the baby YOUR last name, especially if you're using a different last name than your husband. Not your soon-to-be ex-husband's name and not the father of the baby. Whatever your last name is, that's what the baby's should be. It doesn't matter if the father or your husband show up to the hospital. If the baby is born before your divorce decree, your husband will be assumed to be the father anyway and be responsible for the baby so you're going to need to get a paternity test to make sure the baby's father is established for child support no matter where he is and where he's working.

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answers from Dover on

Like my answer if your other post, you won't be able to add his name until paternity has been proven because he's not your husband anyway. Again, check this link:



answers from Gainesville on

Doesn't matter whether or not he is able to get to the hospital. That's irrelevant to the last name.

If it were me, I'd make an appointment with an attorney or Legal Aid and find out the cold facts. Some states it is automatically the husband because you are married but that puts your husband on the hook for a child that isn't his and will surely create a nightmare that he will have to navigate thru. Get to an attorney asap and get this matter resolved.

Here you go! Just found this:

Your husband will be presumed to be the father until paternity is established. So that means you need to get with an attorney and find out the best/easiest way to establish paternity so the birth cert will be correct and you get child support.



answers from Orlando on

whether he shows up or not, you are not married, so you have the right to give the baby your name. And in your situation, I highly recommend that you do. I did this too, and have been thankful (on many levels) ever since!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi, S.,
I think what this boils down to is that we just can't tell enough about your situation to answer this very well. There may be laws in MN that surely your OB/GYN can answer for you.
Is this man contesting paternity? Is your husband aware of your pregnancy? Are you divorcing your husband or reconciling? Is the baby's father going to provide support for this child?


answers from Las Vegas on

I have never heard of a law stating this but maybe there is. It doesn't matter who is at the hospital if you want the baby's name to be your last name it can be. or if you want it to be his last name it can be. You just tell them. I recommend that you give the baby your last name in this case. You don't want to go through all the drama of changing it to yours later if he doesn't want to be there anymore. They will always put whatever name you choose, with the last name it just has to make sense.. i.e. yours or his. The fact that your not even sure if he will make it to the birth of the child is an indicator of his future presence.

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