Glenolden, PA asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania

Q: If my name is not on my son's birth certificate and I would like to put my name on it, then file for custody, how do I?

My name is not on my son's birth certificate but I would like to know how I could put my name on it, and find out more about filing for custody for him

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rachel Lea Hunter
Rachel Lea Hunter
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: See this info from the PA Vital Records Dept. You have to file an acknowledgment of paternity and will need the mother to consent. If the mother will not consent you can bring a paternity action. Either way, an order will be issued and vital records will then add your name to the child's birth certificate.

Custody is a separate issue. Are you seeking physical custody or just visitation? It will be cheaper if you are seeking visitation. To maximize your efforts, I suggest that you talk to a family law attorney who practices in the county where the custody action will be brought (this is where the child resides). Many counties have do-it-yourself forms. I would stop by the domestic relations section of the court and check out what is available in terms of child custody.

How to Add the Father’s Name to a Birth Certificate for a Child Born to an Unmarried Woman

As a result of Act 1997-58 that became effective January 1, 1998, a father cannot be listed on the birth record of a child born to an unmarried woman unless an Acknowledgment of Paternity has been filed with the Department of Public Welfare or there has been a court determination of paternity. If the parents wish to file an Acknowledgment of Paternity to list the father, it will be necessary to contact the Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement at 800-932-0211, for forms and instructions. If both parents are unable to file an Acknowledgment of Paternity to list the father, a certified court order bearing the raised seal of the court and signature of the judge that establishes paternity, i.e. a Waiver of Trial, Support Order, or Custody Order should be obtained through their local Domestic Relations office.

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