When there is a need to identify a child’s Father by the unmarried mother and father there is a proper and legal way to do it. An Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) as a legal document helps to establish the child’s father if it meets all the requirements of the District law.
The condition is that it must meet the relevant district law that is DC Official Code S 16-9 09.01(a)(1). One can also complete the procedure at the hospital or birthing Centre after the child’s birth. The parents can take the help of the staff members to complete the acknowledgment and notarize it.
Who can get this document?
The parents can get acknowledgment of paternity with the help of staff members of the hospital, the Vital Record Division of the Department of Health, or the Child Support Services Division.
If the mother is unmarried then a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is signed to find the resume father. This helps to signify the fatherhood of a person to his child. If a person wants to sign the AOP and notarise it then they must fulfill the requirements mentioned below:
- Swearing that the information mentioned on the AOP form is true
- Must provide a photo identification proof
- It must be signed in the presence of a notary public
- The notarization followed by the parents signature takes place under the authority of notary public
- It must be fully complete by handwritten in ink or a typed content that is legible
People should note that signing an AOP is easy and free and there is no requirement to conduct blood tests. Though there is a possibility that it is rescinding within a limitation.
What are the benefits of an AOP?
The Acknowledgment of Paternity provides different types of benefits. The unmarried mother gets the help of sharing the responsibility for the child’s financial support.
Since it is free to file an AOP so every person can sign it with the help of staff members. It creates an opportunity for the biological father to visit his child and to get custody also.
It asks the parents who are under the age of 21 years and not living with his or her child must pay the child support. This gives a mutual benefit to both the parents for the mother who is unmarried as well as the father who wants to take the responsibility.
It is applicable in both cases whether the father lives with the child or not. Also, It can be filled if the biological parents do not have a social security number. And It is also applicable for people who are not citizens of the US or have legal US residence.
➡LEARN MORE: How to Get a Paternity Test when the Mother Refuses?
What are the responsibilities associated with it?
You need to take up the legal responsibilities and consequences that come with the AOP are as follows:
- It is the responsibility of the biological father of the child to pay the child’s financial support.
- The subject must be sure of his fatherhood for the child before signing the AOP. It is also possible to take custody even if the subject is not the biological father but wants to take responsibility. In this case, they can discuss the situation as adoption with an attorney.
- The AOP form is free of cost but a certain amount of fees is charged to get a copy of the child’s birth certificate by the vital record division.
- It allows the subject who has already signed the AOP to visit or has the child’s custody, unlike the person who has not filled the AOP. Then he is not able to establish a legal right for visiting or getting custody of the child.
- It helped the unmarried mother to get child support from the father who does not live with the child. The parent must be under the age of 21 years old in DC.
- In the case of a married couple, it is easy to get the parents’ name on the child’s birth certificate automatically, unlike the unmarried parents who have to voluntarily fill the AOP form.
What is the process 0f getting a copy of an AOP?
The parents who want to get a copy of an acknowledgment of paternity or a must follow the given guidelines:
- The parents can fill the form with the help of the staff members of the hospital all the divisions like the Vital Records Division and the Child Support Services Division.
- The process of filling the form is free of cost and does not require any DNA test.
- Though it is requested if the father is unsure about the fatherhood then they must get a DNA test done before signing the AOP. One cannot be forced to sign it in case if he is unsure of fatherhood.
- Once you copy the acknowledgment of paternity form for the SAPCR case followed by filling out the inquiry request form also known as the Acknowledgment of Paternity Inquiry Request Form.
- Follow the given instructions on the form or contact the vital statistics unit.
After the child is born, the parents should know that the AOP form is ready to be filled.
The US government gives this opportunity to fill the Acknowledgment of Paternity form after the birth of the child to the citizens who are not legal US citizens. It is also applicable to people who do not have a social security number. There is a need to have an identity proof of the parents (The notary public gave this identity).
Government-issued identification is acceptable such as a driving license, state-issued identity card, passport, School identification, or military ID. This is a must-required factor to have current identification. Utility bills are not equivalent to a person’s identity proof.