When a child is born to two married parents, they are placed on the child’s birth certificate. However, when parents are unmarried, paternity must be legally established in order for the non-birth parent to appear on the child’s birth certificate and have legal rights. This is an important step since it also involves future rights of the child.
So, how is paternity established in Massachusetts?
Voluntary Vs. Involuntary
Paternity can be established voluntarily or involuntarily. When both parents agree on who the non-birth parent is, they both sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage” in front of a notary pubic, establishing paternity voluntarily. This acknowledgement is then filed with the Registry of Vital Records, officially establishing paternity. [Continue reading]