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In this Article we will examine What Happens if the Father’s Name is Not on the Birth Certificate and we will answer the questions of: Is the Birth Certificate Used to Establish Paternity?, Does Not Being on the Birth Certificate Impact a Father’s Rights?, What Rights Does a Father Have if He is not on the Birth Certificate?, Can a Person that is Not the Biological Father Be Added to the Birth Certificate?, What if a Person is Improperly Added to the Birth Certificate as the Father?, and How Can a Father Establish Paternity?

In this Article we will examine What Happens if the Father’s Name is Not on the Birth Certificate and we will answer the questions of:

  • Is the Birth Certificate Used to Establish Paternity?
  • Does Not Being on the Birth Certificate Impact a Father’s Rights?
  • What Rights Does a Father Have if He is not on the Birth Certificate?
  • Can a Person that is Not the Biological Father Be Added to the Birth Certificate?
  • What if a Person is Improperly Added to the Birth Certificate as the Father?
  • How Can a Father Establish Paternity?

The birth certificate is the instrument used by the vital records office to track of the birth records for each person in the State of Wisconsin. This instrument can also be used to help identify the parents of the person as well.

Is the Birth Certificate Used to Establish Paternity?

No, not in Wisconsin. A person may be added to the birth certificate by the mother at the time of birth but that does not establish legal rights without additional actions. If a person would like to acknowledge that they are the father of the child at the time of birth both he and the mother can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment which will establish the parental relationship with the Minor Child.

Does Not Being on the Birth Certificate Impact a Father’s Rights?

No, not particularly. Being on the birth certificate or being left off of the birth certificate does not add or limit the rights that a biological father has to his child.

What Rights Does a Father Have if He is not on the Birth Certificate?

If a father is not added to the birth certificate, he still has the right to attempt to establish parentage and his parental rights through the court system or by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage.  

Can a Person that is Not the Biological Father Be Added to the Birth Certificate?

In theory, anyone can be added to the birth certificate based on the representation of the child’s mother. That being said, the biological father should be the only person that is put on the birth certificate unless there is a finding by the appropriate court establishing the parental relationship on behalf of a person that is not the biological father.

What if a Person is Improperly Added to the Birth Certificate as the Father?

In a situation where a person is improperly added to the birth certificate, it is up to the alleged father to seek genealogical testing to determine that they are not the father of the child and open a court case to have an order issued to that effect. Once the Court issues a finding that the alleged father is in fact not the father of the child, the order along with the appropriate forms should be submitted to vital records to modify the improper birth certificate. Improperly identifying an individual as a parent on the birth certificate is a criminal offense so it is important to be certain before identifying the father on the birth certificate.

How Can a Father Establish Paternity?

A father can seek to establish paternity in two ways. First, they may sign a voluntary acknowledgement of parentage which will establish the parentage of the child but will not establish a placement or custody schedule. In order to establish those rights, a father may open a court case seeking to Wisconsin has an established process for establishing paternity and parental rights which is discussed in our other article. Please review that article for additional information on establishing paternity in Wisconsin.

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