Acknowledging Paternity at the Hospital

24 Sep Acknowledging Paternity at the Hospital

If you are an unwed father and present for your baby’s birth in Missouri, then you will probably be asked if you want your name on the birth certificate. In order for that to happen, you will need to sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. In this article, we’ll explore what that means and what the pros and cons are of signing the Affidavit.


What is the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity?

It is a legal acknowledgment that you are the father of the child. It establishes Paternity. It also enables you to have your name placed on the birth certificate.


Should I sign the Affidavit?



  • You will get your name on the birth certificate.
  • It will set inheritance rights for your child. If something were to happen to you, signing the Affidavit would allow your child to get social security benefits upon your death.
  • It allows the Family Support Division to set child support.
  • It creates the legal father-child relationship which may be needed for medical purposes or educational purposes.
  • It should be enough to allow you to put the child on your health insurance as a dependent.



  • It usually happens at the hospital, before genetic testing has occurred. You do have sixty (60) days to file a rescission on the Affidavit. It is highly recommended that you get biological testing completed within those sixty (60) days.
  • FSD can set child support. While certainly a PRO for one parent, it can easily become a CON for another. FSD is not as negotiable on the child support as the Court system in a Court-based Paternity action.
  • The biggest con, and the one that usually results in dad’s contacting attorneys, is that this “paternity” does not set custody or visitation. It gives you the obligations (child support) but not the rights. If you have a breakdown with the child’s mother, you will still need to go into Court with a Paternity action to set custody and visitation rights.


An Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity certainly will help your child. And it can be used successfully in situations where the mother and father are collaborative. However, if that breaks down, it may be necessary for the father to move his Paternity action into a Court to litigate child support, custody, and the visitation schedule.


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