How to Add the Father to a Child’s Birth Certificate in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ
Our family lawyers can help you navigate the process of adding a father’s name to a birth certificate in New Jersey, and offer critical information regarding determining paternity.
In New Jersey, adding the name of the biological father to a child’s birth certificate is a direct procedure. To add a biological father’s name on a New Jersey birth certificate, three things must be provided by the mother to the Office of Vital Statistics within the New Jersey Department of Health (located in the state capital; alternatively, a mother can go to her child’s birth county’s Office of the Registrar). First, a mother must provide appropriate documentation. Required documents will be outlined later in the article. Second, a mother must provide proof that the person to be added to the birth certificate is the child’s biological father. Third, the mother must pay a fee. Refer to the section “What is the process for adding a name to a birth certificate?” for specific information about the birth certificate revision process.
Three Steps to Add a Father’s Name on a Birth Certificate in NJ
Signing the Birth Certificate and Establishing Paternity
For a father to be added to a child’s New Jersey birth certificate, there must be proof that that person is the biological father of the child. As such, as the biological father is named on the birth certificate, this is the establishment of proof of their paternity.
Providing Documentation Required to Add a Name to a Birth Certificate
The type of documentation required to add a paternal name to a child’s birth certificate depends on the mother’s partner status. One piece of documentation that is required regardless of circumstance is the Certificate of Parentage, which must be signed by both the biological mother and the biological father.
If a mother wishes to change the child’s surname to the biological father’s surname, she must submit a REG 60 form alongside other required documentation.
In addition to the signed Certificate of Parentage, additional documentation is required for changes to birth certificates. A signed Affidavit of Denial of Paternity must be submitted by the current or former spouse of a mother if they are not the biological parent of the child in question. An Affidavit of Denial of Paternity prevents the non-birth father from claiming paternity down the road. If the mother is no longer with this spouse, who, again, is not the biological father of the child in question, she must obtain a court order denying paternity from the New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part, so this spouse is legally barred from claiming paternity in the future. If a mother marries someone after conception of the child, she must provide marriage documentation to the Office of Vital Statistics to prove that marriage occurred after the child was conceived, thereby releasing the current spouse from rights and responsibilities afforded to the biological father. If, however, the person the mother marries after conception of the child is the biological father, the mother must provide not only the marriage certificate showing that legal marriage occurred after conception of the child, but also a REG 35 form that allows the spouse to claim paternity.
Filing the Updated Birth Records in New Jersey
The Office of Vital Statistics within the New Jersey Department of Health is responsible for housing and updating birth records. All changes to a birth certificate must occur within the Office of Vital Statistics, either directly through their office in Trenton or via the county Office of the Registrar. A filing fee is required for completion of this process.
Pros and Cons of Changing a New Jersey Birth Certificate to Keep in Mind
There are a number of benefits to naming a father on a child’s birth certificate. First of all, a father’s parenting responsibilities will take effect, such as the requirement to provide child support. Additionally, a child can be covered under their parent’s health insurance and be a beneficiary of life insurance death benefits if they are named on the birth certificate.
On the other hand, there are some cons and difficulties associated with not having the biological father’s name on the child’s birth certificate. In addition to having responsibilities when named on the birth certificate, a father also enjoys certain rights, such as potential child custody and visitation rights. There are also cons to not naming a father — for example, certain registrations, including those for obtaining a passport, become more difficult when a father is not named on the birth certificate.
Is a Paternity Test Mandatory?
No paternity test is required to determine paternity for the purposes of adding a father’s name to a birth certificate; however, both biological parents must sign the Certificate of Parentage.
How Can a Lawyer Help with the Process of Amending a Birth Certificate?
Having the support of a parental rights lawyer can make a huge difference in the process of adding a father’s name to your child’s birth certificate. As noted, the addition of a biological father’s name means that they will enjoy certain rights and responsibilities that are likely of interest to you and certainly important for your child’s wellbeing. A talented family lawyer can help you walk through the somewhat complex and convoluted documentation provision process, depending on your circumstances.
Update Your Child’s Birth Certificate with Help from our Toms River Paternity Lawyers
Are you considering adding your name or your child’s biological father’s name to their birth certificate? At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, we understand what a difference having both birth parents on a child’s birth certificate can make for their present and future. Our paternity and family lawyers have a long history of helping clients in Point Pleasant, Marlboro, Tinton Falls, Manalapan, and towns throughout Ocean and Monmouth County navigate the Office of Vital Statistics process to ensure that their children’s wellbeing is served.