When your child is born you are provided with an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity form that will allow you to name the biological father. However, there are cases when the identity of the father is unknown or uncertain. If you give birth in the state of Missouri and have not yet named the father, there is a legal process that must be followed. Both the mother and father of the child must be involved in this process.
Ensure that there is no doubt that the name you want to place on the birth certificate is that of the biological father of the child. If the individual is not the biological father his name cannot legally be placed on the birth certificate.
If you and the father are certain about paternity, then testing is not needed. However, if either of you are in doubt you may have a paternity test done at a DNA testing facility. As of March, 2010, the average cost for a paternity test started at $400. For more information and to find a local DNA testing facility, call the DNA Diagnostics Center at 800-798-0580.
Call the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records at 573-751-6378 and state that you want to add the father's name to the birth certificate. You must provide your name and legal mailing address to receive the required form, “Affidavit For Acknowledging Paternity.”
Wait for the affidavit in the mail.
Fill in the affidavit with the child's legal name, the mother's legal name, and the father's legal name. At this point, do not sign the affidavit.
Both parents must take the affidavit to a notary public. With valid photo identification (i.e. driver's license, passport, or a state-issued photo identification), both the mother and the father must sign the affidavit in the presence of the notary public. Paternity test results are not required.
Mail the completed and notarized affidavit, along with a processing fee, back to the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records: Missouri Bureau of Vital Records 1730 East Elm Street Jefferson City, MO 65101
Once your affidavit is processed, you child's amended birth certificate will reflect the legal father's name.
- Me and dad image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com