If a child’s parents are married at the time of birth, the father’s name will be automatically added to the birth certificate because in the eyes of the law, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the father of her child. In situations in which a mother is not married at the time of birth, however, the biological father’s name will not be automatically added to the birth certificate. In deciding whether the biological father’s name should be added to the child’s birth certificate, there are advantages as well as disadvantages. This article will review both. If you have questions about your parental rights, contact an experienced family law attorney.

The Advantages of Placing the Father’s Name on the Birth Certificate

There are several reasons why a mother might decide to place the father’s name on a child’s birth certificate. Some of the benefits that are realized by doing this include the following:

  • The child will be able to receive Social Security benefits if the biological father dies unexpectedly. Additionally, the child will be able to collect from the biological father’s estate through the probate process.
  • If the father has a health or life insurance policy through his employer, the child will be able to be listed as a legally recognized beneficiary.
  • Listing the father on the birth certificate makes the father legally responsible for the child and establishes the child’s ability to receive financial support from the father.
  • Naming a child’s father on a birth certificate helps avoid the lifelong insecurity that a child might otherwise face of not knowing who the biological father is.

The Downside to Listing a Father on a Birth Certificate

Some of the reasons why mothers sometimes opt not to place a father on a birth certificate include the following:

  • A biological father can interrupt an adoption proceeding at any time if he petitions for custody.
  • The father will lack any legal authority over the child if he is not named on the birth certificate. This can be a good thing if the father has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse.
  • Without legal standing, the father will not be entitled to shared parenting time.

Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you have questions about a birth certificate or any other aspect of the family law process, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled lawyer at Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C.. We have helped many people navigate a number of complicated family law situations. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free consultation during which time we will review your various available options.